Tory Lanez has been found guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion, the New York Times reports.
The jury found him guilty on all three counts: assault with a semiautomatic handgun, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. Lanez, who was born in Canada, may face deportation and up to 23 years in prison.
During their opening statements, prosecutors alleged Lanez shot Megan in the foot while shouting, “Dance, bitch, dance!” in the midst of an argument after a pool party they attended in the Hollywood Hills during the early morning hours of July 12th, 2020. Lanez was initially charged with one count of assault with a firearm and another gun possession charge in October 2020. Just before the trial began on December 12th, prosecutors added a third count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Meanwhile, Lanez’s defense team put Megan’s sexual history on trial while pointing the finger at Megan’s former friend and assistant Kelsey Harris, who was present at the incident. According to his lead attorney George Mgdesyan, Megan wanted to leave the party after seeing Lanez and Kylie Jenner hanging out together. During their car ride back to pick up Megan’s belongings, she started an argument with Lanez, who in turn revealed Megan had a sexual relationship with him behind Harris’ back after Harris had been with Lanez first.
According to the defense, Megan had been with fellow rapper DaBaby and NBA player Ben Simmons after Harris dated both men. The defense posited a theory that Harris may have shot Megan after the two allegedly got involved in a physical altercation witnessed by a man named Sean Kelly.
Mgdesyan also questioned why Megan initially told police officers her foot wound was caused by broken glass found in Lanez’s car. The rapper later explained multiple times that the recent George Floyd incident was fresh in her mind and she wanted to protect everyone in the vehicle.
Megan took the stand on the second day of the trial, delivering a tearful testimony in which she claimed Lanez provoked an argument by calling both her and Harris “bitches and hoes.” Megan added that she asked to be let out of the car and then went into detail about how Lanez shot at her. Once again, she spoke about the fear of police brutality that led to her saying she cut her foot stepping on broken glass. Speaking about the intense scrutiny and lack of support in the music industry, Megan said she wished “he had just shot and killed me” at one point.
When Harris testified on the third day of the trial, she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before being sworn in. While being questioned on the stand, Harris shockingly recanted on an earlier statement that Lanez had threatened to shoot her and admitted parts of her recorded interview with Deputy District Attorneys Alexander Bott and Kathy Ta in September 2022 “weren’t accurate.” On Harris’ second day on the stand, she continued to give incomplete and contradictory testimony.
On day five, however, Judge David Herriford allowed prosecutors to play the entire 80-minute interview, in which Harris claimed several times that she saw Lanez shoot Megan. She also said Lanez offered both women $1 million in return for their silence.
Lanez’s primary defense witness, Sean Kelly, took the stand on day six. He had called 911 to report the incident because it took place outside of his house. Kelly confirmed he saw an altercation between the women, describing it as “quite violent.” To the chagrin of the defense, however, Kelly identified Lanez as the gunman and said the rapper fired “four or five” shots.