A Canadian rapper Daystar Peterson popularly known as Tory Lanez has been found guilty of shooting fellow artiste Megan Thee Stallion in both of her feet after an argument in 2020, prosecutors said.
According to New York Times, the jury found Lanez, 30, guilty of three felony counts: carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle; assault with a semiautomatic handgun and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. Lanez faces over 20 years in prison and potential deportation to Canada.
Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion, 27, had earlier testified Lanez shot at her feet after a pool party in the Hollywood Hills in July 2020, adding the shooting was preceded by an argument that got heated when the two began attacking each other’s music careers.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, needed surgery to remove bullet fragments in her feet, CBS News quoted her.
Megan Thee Stallion was not present in court on Friday 23 2022. Lanez, who was free on bail during the trial after a period of house arrest, was taken into custody.
Jurors reached a verdict on Friday following hours of deliberation across two days after a trial of about two weeks.
“Women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault and sexual violence because they are too often not believed,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement after the verdict.
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Mr. Lanez, though not a household name before the case, has seen his celebrity profile rise since the shooting, earning explicit and implied support from various corners of the hip-hop universe, including influential blogs, social media accounts and the rappers-turned-talking heads 50 Cent and Joe Budden.
In court, Mr. Lanez’s defense had raised the possibility of another shooter, a friend of Megan Thee Stallion’s who was also involved in the argument, which occurred on the way home from a gathering at the home of the reality star and beauty mogul Kylie Jenner.
But Megan Thee Stallion, who testified in the case, identified Mr. Lanez as her assailant, tearfully recounting how he had shouted “dance” and a sexist slur at her before firing several times from the passenger seat of a sport utility vehicle.
She said Mr. Lanez then apologized and offered her and the friend, Kelsey Harris, a million dollars each to keep quiet about what had occurred.
In his closing argument, Alexander Bott, a deputy district attorney, said that Mr. Lanez had been pushed to a breaking point when Megan Thee Stallion demeaned his artistic stature, noting that she had been reluctant to come forward after the traumatic event.