A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday denied a motion for a new trial from lawyers for rapper Tory Lanez, who was Pleaded guilty to three felonies in December For shooting and injuring hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in the leg.
Superior Court Judge Hereford rejected arguments by lawyers for Lanez that evidence was improperly admitted in the trial he presided over. He said that excluding the disputed evidence would make no difference to the trial.
Lanez, 30, whose legal name is Dester Peterson, will now face charges of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, loading a vehicle, possession of an unregistered firearm and grossly negligent discharge of a firearm. He could face up to 22 years in prison and deportation to his native Canada.
As he was led from the courtroom to jail after a motion hearing a day earlier, he pleaded with Hereford to help, saying, “I can be your son. I can be your brother.”
Motions for a new trial with the same judge filed immediately afterward are a common precursor to an appeal to a higher court, which Lanez’s attorneys plan to do. The movement rarely succeeds.
Lanez’s lawyers insisted that a post from her Instagram account was improperly admitted into evidence. they said Megan’s testimony – which said Lanez begged him not to go to the police because he was on parole and would get into serious trouble – was both untrue and an improper allowance of prior bad deeds. They also said the DNA evidence that prosecutors argued suggested Lanez was the likely shooter fell short of the industry standard.
Lanez’s attorneys were frustrated from the start of Monday’s all-day oral arguments on their motion.
They had an elaborate presentation prepared, complete with audio-visuals and witnesses, but Harriford approved none of it, instead insisting on narrow legal arguments on the specific issues raised, typical for such motions in California courts.
They begged Hereford for a long time that they might present their arguments according to their plans.
“I feel like I’m ineffective if we go forward,” defense attorney Jose Baez said. “Mr. Peterson has the due process rights to which he is entitled.”
They proceeded to protest and later filed a motion to disqualify the judge.
Lanez’s lawyer, who did not represent him at trial, said the attorney who did, George Mgdesian, erred in his case because he was given too little time to prepare for trial after the rapper’s previous attorney dropped out.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Peet, testified that Lanez fired a handgun into the back of her leg and yelled at her to dance as she drove away in an SUV that drove up the Hollywood Hills in the summer. 2020
(Photo by Amy Harris, left, Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Magdesian said at trial that Megan lied in her testimony and that Lanez did not pull the trigger. He later said there was not enough evidence to convict.
As was the case throughout the trial, the courtroom was packed with media and Lanez fans and family members, with many more people outside in the hallway.
The shooting and trial sparked a flurry of cultural issues and debates that peaked during the trial, including the reluctance of blacks to talk to the police, the protection of black women, gender politics in hip-hop, and online toxicity.
After the verdict was read in December, Lanez’s father, Sonster Peterson, took the stand and condemned the “evil system” his son was convicted of and had to wrestle from court.
No sentencing date has been set.
Lanez began releasing mixtapes in 2009 and saw a steady rise in popularity, allowing him to move on to major-label albums. Five of his six studio albums reached the top 10 on Billboard’s album chart.
Megan The Stallion was already a major rising star at the time of shooting, and her prominence has grown ever since. He won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2021, and he hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his own song “Savage” and as a guest on Cardi B’s “WAP.”