Tory Lanez Guilty on All Charges in Megan Thee Stallion Shooting Trial
UPDATE (Dec 23):
Megan Thee Stallion's lawyer, Alex Spiro, has released the following statement to XXL in the wake of Tory Lanez being found guilty on all charges in his trial for the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion: "The jury got it right. I am thankful there is justice for Meg."
ORIGINAL STORY (Dec. 23):
A California jury has found Tory Lanez guilty in connection to the July 2020 shooting incident in which Megan Thee Stallion was shot during an altercation.
The jury received their instructions on Wednesday (Dec. 21), with closing arguments going into Thursday (Dec. 22). The group of 12 people deliberated for a day before reaching a decision this afternoon (Dec. 23). According to Law & Crime senior reporter Meghann Cuniff, the jury found Tory Lanez guilty all charges.
"A jury has convicted Tory Lanez of all three charges for the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion," Cuniff tweeted.
The announcement of the verdict caused a major stir in the courtroom, as Tory's parents reportedly reacted with wild outbursts.
"A crazy and downright scary scene in the courtroom as his father and stepmother screamed about wicked injustice," Cuniff added.
XXL has reached out to attorneys for both Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for comment.
The Tory Lanez trial stems from an incident on July 12, 2020, in which Tory, Megan's former friend, Kelsey Nicole Harris, and Megan's bodyguard were riding around in Los Angeles when an argument ensued that resulted in a shooting. Megan would later identify Tory as the person who shot her in both feet. Subsequently, Tory was charged with one felony count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner to cause bodily injury. The Canadian rap star pleaded not guilty to the charges in November of 2020.
The trial, which officially began on Dec. 12 with opening statements, had multiple plot twists. Additionally, Megan and her former best friend Kelsey Harris delivered emotional testimonies about the night in question. On day one, the first surprise came from the prosecution who revealed that Megan and Tory were in an intimate relationship despite Megan's previous claims that they were not.
The next day, Megan was on the stand and recounted the night she was shot. The Houston rhymer told the jury that an argument between Tory and her former friend Kelsey Harris was the catalyst for the shooting. The Houston rhymer claims she exited the vehicle and heard Tory say "dance bitch" and turned to see him firing a gun at her over the SUV. Megan added that Tory tried to offer her $1 million to stay silent on the matter. She also testified she did not see Kelsey Harris with a gun.
Megan would later open up about how the incident has affected her relationship with her boyfriend Pardison Fontaine.
"I feel disgusted, I feel dirty, my own partner is embarrassed," she said referring to her sexual history being exposed for people to criticize, according to People. "I can't even be happy… I don't want to talk to friends or family."
Another explosive moment in the trial happened when Megan's ex-friend, Kelsey Harris, took the stand and refused to answer any questions about Tory's involvement in the shooting, despite being granted immunity by the prosecution. The 27-year-old businesswoman also denied seeing Tory shoot Megan. Harris also invoked her Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination when asked if Tory threatened to kill her as she previously stated in a recorded interview with investigators.
This prompted Megan's attorney, Alex Spiro, to suggest that Harris was compromised as a witness either by threats or bribery.
"It just shows she was compromised. Whether a threat or bribe, but we’re looking into it," Spiro told The Shade Room. "Offered money and then changes testimony; we’ll let your readers decide."
"Megan was a victim of a shooting, and the evidence is overwhelming [against Tory]," he continued. "Kelsey has already said in a recorded interview she saw Tory shoot Meg."
Meanwhile, some of the evidence that was presented during the trial included a recorded, apologetic phone call Tory made to Kelsey from jail hours after the shooting, an apologetic text from Tory to Meg the night of the shooting (although he doesn’t mention a shooting or a gun), video of Megan in the ambulance, as well as police body cam and helicopter footage from when LAPD officers pulled them over at gunpoint. Additionally, X-rays of Megan's feet where doctors remove bullet fragments were also submitted into evidence.
Tory will be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2023. He faces up to 22 years in prison.
See 44 of the Longest Prison Bids in Hip-Hop History