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Everything We Know About the Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez Shooting Trial

Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Getty Images

On August 20, 2020, Megan Thee Stallion claimed that Tory Lanez was the gunman who shot her in the foot following a July 12, 2020, pool party at Kylie Jenner’s house — the first time she had publicly identified him, or anyone, as her shooter. In an Instagram Live video, Megan alleged that Lanez’s publicist was intentionally attempting to spread false information about the shooting, for which she was hospitalized and underwent surgery. “Yes, this n- - - - Tory shot me,” Megan said in the video. On August 8, almost three years to the day since Megan’s made the allegation, a judge sentenced Lanez to ten years in prison for the shooting.

While Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson, was arrested on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, he was not arrested for allegedly shooting Megan, real name Megan Pete. (Lanez was released on $35,000 bail.) The Los Angeles Police Department reportedly had difficulties in finding witnesses who would help in their investigation. Some early reports even said that Megan’s injuries resulted from broken glass, not a gunshot.

In her video, Megan admitted that she didn’t tell cops what happened, explaining she thought the LAPD was “aggressive” — while recognizing she should have been up front immediately.

“I didn’t get cut by no glass, but let me tell you why they’re saying that,” Megan said. “When the police came because the neighbors called the police … the police come — I’m scared. All this shit going on with the police … I didn’t want to die. I didn’t want the police to shoot me cause there’s a n- - - - with a gun in the car with me.”

On October 8, 2020, there was a major development in the investigation: The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced felony assault and gun charges against Lanez. Owing to a separate incident with August Alsina, he awaited trial under house arrest starting October 28.

The trial began on December 5, 2022, after the original September 14 start date was delayed due to Lanez’s lawyer being preoccupied with a separate trial. Lanez was convicted and found guilty on December 23 of all three charges over the 2020 shooting. He officially began his prison sentence on September 14 when his motion for bond was denied. Below, everything we know about the shooting case.

What happened, exactly?

According to an Instagram Live, Megan claimed that she was in Lanez’s car on July 12 2020, with him, his bodyguard, and her friend, and that the four were arguing. Megan, who was in the front seat, left the car. She alleged that Lanez shot her through the car’s back window. Megan insisted that rumors she had hit Lanez were bogus. She also said that the shooting didn’t relate to Lanez’s purported romantic interest in Kylie Jenner. According to TMZ, Megan originally told cops that she had cut her foot on glass.

While L.A. prosecutors didn’t give many details in their press release announcing charges against Lanez, their statement on the case appeared to mirror Megan’s claims.

“The defendant and the 24-year-old victim got into an argument while riding in an SUV in the Hollywood Hills,” the prosecutors’ statement said. “The victim exited the vehicle and Peterson is accused of shooting several times at her feet and wounding her.”

The criminal complaint identified the person Lanez allegedly “inflicted great bodily injury upon” as “MEGAN P.” The complaint said Megan P. was “not an accomplice to the above offense.”

LAPD detective Ryan Stogner testified in court on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, confirming details from Megan’s account of the event to the police. Per TMZ, the detective was told that Lanez shouted “Dance, bitch, dance” as he fired the gunshots at Megan’s feet, injuring her so that she “fell to the ground and then crawled” to safety. Megan told the detective that a drunk Lanez tried to bribe her “to keep her mouth shut because he was on probation.” Stogner also testified that she lied about the shooting at first, saying she stepped on glass, because she was afraid of police violently escalating the situation if they were called on Lanez, a Black man with a gun in his car. During the hearing, the judge was also played a phone call from Lanez in jail to the woman who was there during the incident, apologizing for something he did while drunk. “How you gonna tell me what I apologized for?” Lanez reportedly yelled in court.

What role did Meg’s public statement on Lanez play in this case?

In late August 2020, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said that the office had “asked law enforcement for further investigation before making a filing decision on a charge of felony assault with a semiautomatic firearm, personal use of a firearm.” However, prosecutors asked law enforcement to do this on July 24, 2020 — so their request had nothing to do with her public statement. It’s unclear whether Meg’s public statement ultimately played a role in prosecutors’ decision to bring felony charges. Vulture reached out to the L.A. District Attorney’s Office for more information on this, but has not yet heard back.

Why did Lanez allegedly shoot Meg?

It still appears to be unclear why Lanez allegedly shot Megan. Megan claimed in the video, however, that Lanez did it for “no reason.”

What is Lanez charged with?

It sure seems that way When Lanez was arrested, it was on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle — not for allegedly shooting Megan. Now, Lanez is charged with one felony count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm — personal use of a firearm — as well as carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Prosecutors said that he “personally inflicted great bodily injury.” If Lanez is convicted as charged, he could get up to 22 years and eight months in state prison. So, Lanez’s legal problems are more serious than before, but the ultimate consequences won’t be known until everything plays out in court. On November 18, 2020, Lanez pleaded not guilty to three charges brought against him by the Los Angeles DA’s office.

Could Megan get in trouble for changing her story?

Prosecutors previously declined to comment on that. Generally speaking, however, authorities don’t go after accusers and victims for changing what they said. People who experience trauma might change their stories after they’ve thought about an incident and had the time to process what happened. Robert Shapiro, who was on O.J. Simpson’s defense team, notes there are many reasons someone might not provide accurate information right away.

“It’s very similar to many of the women who have been victimized, who initially don’t say anything and then years later change their mind for certain reasons,” Shapiro told Vulture (he is not involved with the Lanez case and was speaking generally). “It’s maybe out of fear of retribution, and maybe [later] they have been given some type of comfort that they can be safe.”

In her November 16, 2020, GQRapper of the Year” profile, Megan Thee Stallion claimed Lanez tried to offer her and her friend money in exchange for their silence before police arrived to the scene on July 12. “Police are just killing everybody for no reason, and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t believe you even think I want to take some money,” she said. “Like, you just shot me.’” Lanez’s lawyer denied this claim in a statement in a statement to GQ.

Has Lanez issued a statement or apology?

Following Megan’s August 20, 2020, live stream, Jim Lewis, one of Lanez’s lawyers, told Vulture: “We’re not commenting right now.” His publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Lanez remained quiet for the remainder of the summer.

Then, on September 24, 2020, he tweeted “To my fans … I’m sorry for my silence …. but respectfully .. I got time today.” Fans assumed he was heading on Instagram Live to finally tell his side of the story, but at midnight, DAYSTAR, a surprise album, dropped online. “There is a time to stay silent,” he tweeted. “And a time to speak ….. I said all I could say on this.” On track “Money Over Fallouts,” he says, “Megan people tryna frame me for a shootin’,” denying her claims. Later, he questions her injury and insinuates that Megan’s team has tried to pay for his silence. “Gotta see a couple questions: how the f**k you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons?” he raps. “How the f**k your team is tryna to pay me in some whole millions?” He denies involvement a second time, but doesn’t offer another suspect. “Girl, you had the nerve to write that statement on a affidavit / Knowing I ain’t do it but I’m coming at my truest,” he says at one point. “Tryna keep this shit two hunnid with you, shorty, I can’t prove it / But them people in yo’ ear, they the true ones that I fear.”

Lanez also mentions singers Kehlani and Jojo on the album. Both women removed his features from their songs for the deluxe versions of their respective albums following Megan’s Instagram Live. “Cause when I’m scrollin’ through this Spotify playlist / See me my name both in y’all top five pages / It just feels a little unsincere, hmm?” he says in “Comeback.”

After receiving backlash for dropping an album denying violence against a Black woman as the Black community was reeling from the grand jury decision made in the Breonna Taylor case on September 23, 2020, Lanez said he chose to drop the album on September 25, 2020, because it was his mother’s birthday and the day she died.

After the felony charges against Lanez were announced, Lewis told Vulture: “The ‘victim’ doesn’t appear to be seriously injured, since I saw her on Saturday Night Live last week.”

Did Tory Lanez and his team send fake information about the incident?

A source close to the situation alleged to Billboard on September 29, 2020, that Lanez’s team sent several emails to media outlets pretending to be members of Megan Thee Stallion’s record label, 300 Entertainment, in order to “campaign press” on his behalf. The source also claims that his team fabricated text message conversations between Lanez and Megan and sent them to various outlets. A screenshot obtained by Billboard from a second anonymous source included a fake email account for Kevin Leong, 300’s Head of Creative. The email contained a link to an article that claimed Megan Thee Stallion did not want to testify against Lanez.

In a statement to Billboard, 300 Entertainment said, “In this day and age, digital security is of utmost importance. The email impersonation of our head of creative Kevin Leong, with the intent to disseminate false information has been brought to our attention and we are working diligently on Megan’s behalf to get to the bottom of the matter.” A representative for Lanez “strongly denies” that he sent fake emails or doctored text messages. “The only commentary which has been made on this topic was the creative output on the album,” the rep told Billboard. “We are investigating who could be sending these false emails and intend to take action against them.”

Has Megan Thee Stallion addressed Lanez?

Aside from wearing rings that spell out “Fuck you,” Megan Thee Stallion did not initially respond the assertions made in DAYSTAR nor the alleged “campaign.” In a statement to Vulture shortly thereafter, her lawyer, Alex Spiro said, “We have been made aware of manipulated text messages and invented email accounts that have been disseminated to the media in a calculated attempt to peddle a false narrative about the events that occurred on July the 12th. A smear campaign can’t change the truth.”

During her October 3, 2020 musical performance on SNL, Megan advocated for the protection of Black women. The interlude was punctuated by gunshots, and over a portion of a Malcolm X speech, Megan referred to her own shooting and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s treatment of the Breonna Taylor case. “We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women, ’cause at the end of the day, we need our Black women,” Megan said, noting her tweets about the targeted harassment and bullying she endured after being shot. “We need to protect our Black men and stand up for our Black men, ’cause at the end of the day, we’re tired of seeing hashtags about Black men.”

Megan commented extensively in relation to the February 23, 2022, proceeding because of sketchy information that emerged moments before the hearing started. In a now-deleted tweet, DJ Akademiks wrote that it “was revealed in court few moments ago that Tory Lanez DNA WAS NOT found on the weapon in the Meg Thee Stallion case.”

Megan responded on Instagram, writing: “Y’all got breaking news 15 minutes before court started and nobody has even been called in yet??”

“Y’all tryna win a social media campaign this is MY REAL LIFE! Y’all tryna get retweets SPREADING FALSE NARRATIVES!” she also wrote, according to Complex.

LilJuMadeDaBeat, a producer who has worked with Megan, also appeared to weigh in, saying on Twitter: “Social media has made y’all dumb af.”

Lanez also commented on Twitter, saying: “….. u can’t buy and tweet your way out of this one ..not today.” In a now-deleted post, Megan revealed text messages which she claimed Lanez sent her apologizing for the shooting. Lanez later seemed to claim that his apology actually referred to a romantic dispute.

Court proceedings revealed that Akademiks’s comments about DNA weren’t true. Lanez’s lawyer said that they were retaining an expert and thought that their analysis would be “favorable” for him. Nobody said that the gun didn’t have Lanez’s DNA on it. Regardless, he asked for an apology from Megan.

Asked for comment, Spiro said in a statement: “This is nothing more than the dishonest machinations of a desperate man.” Akademiks did not respond to Instagram messages seeking comment.

And those deportation rumors?

Lanez, who is from Brampton in Ontario, Canada, has not been deported. “That’s bullshit,” Lewis previously said of rumors. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson previously told Vulture that Lanez is not in the agency’s custody. “We have no stake in this matter at this point,” the spokesperson said. “ICE has not been involved in this at all.” Vulture reached out to immigration authorities to see if there was any new information but did not immediately hear back.

What has led up to the trial?

Lanez entered a not guilty plea through his attorney on November 18, 2020 to charges relating to the shooting, according to the Associated Press. The court had previously issued a protective order directing Lanez to stay at least 100 yards away from Megan and prohibiting contact with her. Lanez’s bail was set at $190,000.

Lanez alluded to the charges on Twitter October 2020, posting an emoji message claiming “time will tell.” Tweeted the rapper, “a charge is not a conviction. If you have supported me or meg thru this, I genuinely appreciate u.”

If Lanez is convicted as charged, he could get up to 22 years and eight months in state prison.

Recent developments indicate that the case is moving forward. During the preliminary hearing on December 14, 2021, prosecutors called a police officer and a detective to testify about evidence they had gathered during the investigation. The attorney for Lanez, Shawn Holley, asked for the case to be thrown out due to “insufficient evidence.” The judge denied Holley’s request.

The trial was delayed once again on September 14, 2022, due to a scheduling conflict from Lanez’s attorney, who represents Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer (as well as Danny Masterson in his October 11 rape trial). Now scheduled to commence between November 28 and December 8, 2022, Megan’s former friend, Kelsey Harris, who was present in the SUV during the alleged incident, appeared at the courthouse on September 14 and was scheduled to testify about what she saw for the prosecution on December 9.

Did Tory Lanez’s Rolling Loud appearance violate the protective order?

Early July 28, 2021, TMZ reported that Lanez’s appearance with DaBaby at Rolling Loud this weekend had raised eyebrows about possible legal implications for the Canadian rapper. Lanez is required to stay at least 100 yards from Megan and is prohibited from making contact with her; TMZ reported that she was actually backstage when he performed with DaBaby, who took the stage after the “Thot Shit” rapper. TMZ said that Miami police and Los Angeles prosecutors were apprised of Lanez possibly violating the protective order. A source confirmed to Vulture that someone did tell Miami and L.A. officials about the potential protective-order violation, though the source did not identify that person. TMZ reported that, according to a source, Lanez did not see Megan at Rolling Loud, nor did he get close to her. Asked for comment, Holley said in an email to Vulture: “Though they both performed at the same music festival, Mr. Peterson went out of his way to ensure that he would not cross paths with Ms. Peete or otherwise violate the terms of the protective order.”

On Friday, August 13, 2021, TMZ reported that “prosecutors have filed a motion to hold Lanez in contempt for violating the restraining order” that stated he could not go within 100 yards of Megan Thee Stallion. Prosecutors believe that Lanez’s performance at Rolling Loud put him within that distance of her, and they are now asking the judge to revoke or increase Lanez’s bail.

On Monday, August 23, 2021, a judge ruled that Lanez’s bail be increased after prosecutors say he violated the restraining order Megan Thee Stallion filed against him by appearing at Rolling Loud. Lanez’s bail has increased from $190,000 to $250,000. Per TMZ, Lanez will not serve any jail time, but “the judge modified his bail conditions to specifically prohibit Tory from attending events where his alleged victim, Megan, will be present.” The judge also reportedly said that if Lanez violates the protective order again, he will be “remanded into custody.”

Did Lanez try to reach a plea deal with prosecutors?

In September 2021, Los Angeles deputy district attorney Kathy Ta told a judge that the office and Lanez’s side were in “meaningful discussions” to make a plea deal. Ta told Rolling Stone: “We’re in possible settlement discussions.”

Whatever discussions were had apparently did not lead to a plea deal. Lanez’s attorney, Shawn Holley, told a Los Angeles judge on November 3 that his not-guilty plea “stands,” Rolling Stone reported. “As in every case, the lawyers for the parties discuss the possibility of resolving the case. This case is no different,” Holley told the magazine in a statement. “That said, our position as to what did and did not happen in this matter remains unchanged.” Lanez has appeared in court several times after that November 3 proceeding. Vulture asked the Los Angeles district attorney’s office about Ta’s previous statements. A spokesman said in an email that Ta’s comments “referenced there being plea or settlement discussions generally, but nothing beyond that.” Asked whether there were plea talks now, or whether Lanez had been offered a plea deal, a spokesman said the office declines to comment. Lanez’s lawyers did not respond to emails seeking comment following the February 23 developments.

How has Lanez violated the protective order on social media?

According to Rolling Stone, Lanez was “handcuffed and remanded into custody” while in a Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Judge David Herriford determined that Lanez violated pretrial orders that prohibited him from harassing or contacting Megan. Herriford also determined that Lanez violated a pretrial order that barred him from sharing case evidence in the case with outside parties. Herriford increased Lanez’s bail to $350,000.

Before Lanez was taken into custody, prosecutors and his lawyer argued for almost an hour over whether he violated the protective order. Holley insisted that Lanez did not provide DJ Akademiks with any evidence in the case prior to Akademiks’ tweet about DNA, per Rolling Stone.

Holley said in court that DNA analysis of the gun revealed four contributors, meaning it was “inconclusive” whether Lanez’s DNA was on the gun. Testing also revealed that Lanez’s DNA was not on the gun magazine, Holley reportedly said.

“The DA requested that Mr. Peterson’s bail be revoked or, in the alternative, that it be increased to $5 million,” Holley said. “We are pleased that the Court rejected those outrageous requests.”

Lanez posted the increased bail and was released several hours later, according to reports.

Now, why is August Alsina involved in this?

On September 18, R&B singer August Alsina (best known for his “entanglement” with Jada Pinkett Smith) claimed on Instagram that Lanez beat him up in Chicago, even posting a picture of his bloodied face. “Dude has no real friends, and is on a crash out mission,” Alsina wrote. Lanez replied at the time by posting on Instagram Story that he was in the studio. The alleged assault made its way to a hearing in Los Angeles on October 26, when prosecutors claimed Lanez violated his bail, per TMZ. Lanez’s lawyer said there were no charges from Alsina, but a judge has ordered Lanez to be under house arrest beginning October 28 until trial with Megan Thee Stallion began on December 5.

Why was Lanez’s sentencing so delayed?

A judge was scheduled to sentence Lanez on June 13, a little less than six months after the rapper was convicted and found guilty of all three charges in the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion, according to the petition reviewed by Vulture. Ahead of his sentencing, Lanez attempted to get the presiding judge, David Herriford, thrown out through an appellate request in May, arguing that the judge should recuse himself from the case because of his “bias.” Lanez’s legal team argued Herriford “demonstrated partiality in three ways” during a hearing last month, including telling the rapper’s lawyers to present their information in the judge’s preferred order, not allowing them to call witnesses for live testimony, and interrupting the team during their arguments. Though an appellate court rejected Lanez’s request to disqualify Herriford, the judge decided to grant Lanez a continuance on June 13, postponing his sentence until August 7, per reports.

Prosecutors argue Lanez should serve 13 years in prison for the assault. A sentencing memorandum filed on June 6 recommends the sentence, citing Lanez’s “campaign of misinformation” and his presence being a danger to public safety. “Words have power and the pen is oftentimes mightier than the sword,” the memo read according to documents reviewed by Vulture. “In this case, Daystar Peterson used both.” Prosecutors reasoned that Lanez used his “online reach” to “embolden his followers” and re-tramautize Megan. The memo went on to reference the shooting itself. “The People strongly believe that the dismissal of either enhancements alleged would endanger public safety and would not be in the interest,” prosecutors wrote, referring to the sentencing enhancements attached to the count of assault with a firearm. “The defendant brazenly fired five rounds, emptying his gun, at a vulnerable victim.”

What happened at Lanez’s sentencing?

Per reporter Meghann Cuniff, Lanez described Megan Thee Stallion as a friend he still cares for “dearly,” mentioning that they had bonded over the loss of their mothers. Megan herself did not appear at the hearing, though a statement from her was read into the record. “For once, the defendant must be forced to face the full consequences of his heinous actions and face justice,” she said.

The defense presented letters from more than 70 people, including Iggy Azalea, in support of Lanez. Lanez’s father, Sonstar Peterson, also apologized for his courtroom outburst at his son’s conviction in December. Ultimately, Judge David Herriford sentenced Lanez to 10 years in prison. The judge will credit Lanez for 231 days he already spent behind bars, together with a 15 percent credit of 34 days, per Cuniff. He will also be credited for his 40 days of house arrest, totaling 305 days in sentence concessions. Two days after the sentencing, Lanez shared a statement maintaining his innocence and declaring his intention to keep fighting “till I come out victorious.” Lanez’s appeal for bail was heard on August 15, but now he can start to get comfortable in prison. On September 14, Judge Herriford denied his request to live with his son and wife on bond, keeping him in prison as he attempts an appeal. Yeah, he’s still trying it.

This post has been updated throughout.

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