Tory Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson, was convicted of felony assault with a firearm last December for shooting fellow rap star Megan Thee Stallion, real name Megan Pete, in the foot in the summer of 2020. His request for a new trial was denied in May, and today — after five delays and multiple days of courtroom machinations — he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford handed down the sentence, stating that it was “difficult to reconcile” the person portrayed by the defense during the sentencing hearing and the one who fired a gun at Megan Thee Stallion. “Sometimes good people do bad things,” Herriford said. “Actions have consequences, and there are no winners in this case.”
“If I could turn back the series of events that night and change them I would,” Lanez said when addressing the judge right before he delivered the sentence. “The victim was my friend. The victim is someone I still care for to this day. Everything I did wrong that night, I take full responsibility for.”
Prosecutors had asked the judge to hand down a 13-year sentence. On Tuesday, the judge had asked prosecutors whether “imposing 10 years instead of 13 years would endanger public safety,” and the prosecutors responded that they felt a 13-year sentence would be appropriate. In a sentencing memorandum, prosecutors wrote that Lanez, 31, has re-traumatized Megan with social media posts that instigated attacks from his fans. In a written statement from Megan read during the sentencing, she wrote that she has “not experienced a single day of peace” since the shooting. Lanez’s lawyers asked for probation while acknowledging that probation is not within the legal sentencing limits for this crime. Per legal reporter Meghann Cuniff, at the sentencing Herriford agreed to consider two aggravating factors, use of a gun and Megan’s status as a vulnerable victim, while rejecting the factor of high-level callousness. Aggravating factors tend to warrant a longer prison sentence.
Per Cuniff, the judge received more than 70 letters in support of Lanez, including one from Iggy Azalea asking that he impose a sentence “that is transformational, not life destroying.” Another letter from a jail chaplain described Lanez as “remorseful,” saying he has “talked in detail about the event and what he could have done to prevent it.” Lanez has never admitted to the crime and has argued that if he did do it, it was the result of repressed trauma and should be treated with therapy, not prison time.
“I don’t want to call myself a victim. As I reflect on the past three years, I view myself as a survivor, because I have truly survived the unimaginable,” Megan wrote in a piece for Elle last year. “Not only did I survive being shot by someone I trusted and considered a close friend, but I overcame the public humiliation of having my name and reputation dragged through the mud by that individual for the entire world to see.”