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Tory Lanez Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Megan Thee Stallion

Lanez was sentenced nearly eight months after he was convicted

Tory Lanez

Lorne Thomson/Redferns

Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday, nearly eight months after he was found guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion (real name Megan Pete) in her feet following an argument in July 2020.

Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, was originally going to be sentenced in January of this year, but the sentencing was delayed several times after Peterson hired new legal counsel and attempted to get a new trial. The sentencing hearing took two days.

The trial was highly publicized, with significant misinformation circulating online against Pete. The prosecution had asked for a 13-year sentence.

Lanez addressed the court on Tuesday before the judge handed down his sentence, asking for leniency and for a sentence that would allow him to “prove” himself.

“I’m standing in front of you as a father to a six-year-old who needs me every step of the way,” Peterson told Judge David Herriford.

“There’s been this misconception about me being this monster, not having remorse, that’s just not true,” he said, noting that he couldn’t go into specifics about the evening at the advice of his legal counsel. “That night, everyone was drunk, I said things I shouldn’t have said. The victim was my friend, I still care about her. We both lost mothers, we’d sit there and drink until we felt numb. Everything I did wrong that night I take responsibility for.”

“I’m not a person who doesn’t believe in self-help. I do have a habitual disorder, I truly am just trying to be a better person. If you allow me that chance I’ll prove that choice makes sense.”

While Pete did not attend the sentencing hearings, she submitted a pre-written statement that prosecutors read in court on Monday afternoon. “I struggle with being present. After everything that occurred I cannot bring myself back to being in the same room with Tory,” Megan wrote. “He paid bloggers to disseminate false information; he treated my trauma like a joke when I could’ve been dead. He blamed the system, he blamed the press, and as of late he is using his childhood trauma to justify his actions.”

Peterson and his legal team had made repeated attempts both to appeal for a second trial and lessen the punishment from the first. In May, Peterson was denied his request for a new trial. As recently as last week, Peterson’s attorneys submitted a memo requesting that he be sentenced to probation and to attend rehab rather than prison, citing an alcohol addiction and childhood trauma.

“Assuming the allegations are true, Mr. Peterson’s psychological, physical, and childhood trauma was a factor in the commission of the offense,” Peterson’s attorneys wrote. “Likewise, the current offense is connected to Mr. Peterson’s childhood trauma and mental illness, alcohol-use disorder,” which “compromised his ability to manage and regulate his emotions and behaviors and that his alcohol use disorder played a significant role in the alleged offenses.”

Peterson has been behind bars since his guilty conviction last December. He was officially found guilty of first-degree assault with a firearm, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and having a concealed firearm in a vehicle.

Prior to sentencing, on Monday, Peterson’s team looked to establish his character, and secure a more lenient decision. Judge Herriford reviewed 76 letters that Peterson’s legal team had submitted from associates of the defendant, writing about the impact Peterson had on them and those around him.

Among those who submitted letters were family members, professional associates from the music industry, including tour managers and his personal manager, and religious and non-profit executives. Also submitting a letter was Iggy Azalea, who requested Peterson get “a sentence that is transformational and not life-destroying.” Azalea clarified the intent of her letter Monday night on social media, writing that she didn’t include any information in her letter on the details of the case and didn’t support anyone, but that she is “not in support of throwing away ANY ones [sic] life if we can give reasonable punishments that are rehabilitative instead.”

On Monday, Peterson’s legal team called forward a jail chaplain, a music marketer who worked with Peterson and his father, Sonstar Peterson, to speak about Peterson’s character. The chaplain spoke about how Peterson has led prayer calls in jail, while the marketer said community service was as important to Peterson as his music. Sonstar spoke about the impact Peterson’s mother’s sudden death had on him as a child and apologized to Herriford for his own outburst from when his son was convicted last year.

“Daystar is the youngest of our family, and [he and his mother] had a very tight bond. He was 11, he couldn’t deal with it. I don’t think anybody ever gets over that,” Sonstar Peterson said.

Raina Chassagne, the mother of Peterson’s six-year-old child, also spoke prior to the sentencing, asking the court to be “as lenient as possible for the rock of our family, for our son,” further stating that the shooting was “completely out [of character].”

Also speaking as a witness was a psychologist who spoke with Peterson over the phone after his sentencing, who said his mental state lines up with post-traumatic stress disorder and general anxiety.

By Tuesday morning, the prosecution and defense were both still deliberating on how much potential substance abuse or mental health issues should impact the sentencing ruling. Chassagne and the psychologist spoke in court again to further clarify their statements. Chassagne said Lanez suffered from alcoholism and could drink a bottle of tequila daily. She said he had to get his stomach pumped several years ago and suffered withdrawal while touring in Europe.

At one point, Deputy District Attorney Alexander Bott questioned how much the early death of Peterson’s mother and the subsequent trauma could be considered a contributing factor to Peterson’s behavior, noting that the death is tragic but “something everyone will face one day.”

“The defendant shot the witness because Megan bruised his ego; it was an act of misogyny,” Bott said. (Peterson’s attorney Jose Baez called Bott’s assertion “absurd.”)

While Peterson’s team looked to establish that Peterson had an alcohol abuse problem as well as PTSD and anxiety that would be better treated in rehab and probation than prison, the prosecution questioned the authenticity of those claims. “The fact that he told a doctor for the purpose of a sentencing hearing, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got alcohol abuse problems’ is consistent with [Peterson’s] behavior,” Bott said, referring to Peterson’s actions prior to the trial. “Time and time again, the theme has been a willingness to do anything and everything to avoid accountability.”

Pete was similarly skeptical in her written statement and further noted that both the incident and aftermath have left lasting trauma. “Slowly but surely, I’m healing. But I’ll never bee the same,” she said. “His crime warrants the full weight of the law.”

From Rolling Stone US