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

Lanez was convicted on three counts in December 2022, and was sentenced on Aug. 8.

Tory Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in his felony assault trial for shooting Megan Thee Stallion. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Herriford handed down the sentence seven months after Lanez was convicted on three counts at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. 

The rapper's sentencing is 3 years less than the 13 years prosecutors recommended Lanez be sentenced back in June. His attorneys asked that the 31-year-old be sentenced to probation or three years in prison, acknowledging that, legally, Lanez is presumed ineligible for probation, but said his case is so unusual it should warrant an exception.

Lanez has 60 days to file his notice of appeal.

The rapper -- born Daystar Peterson -- has been in jail since Dec. 23, 2022, when a jury convicted him of first-degree assault, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and having a concealed and unregistered firearm in a vehicle. He maintains his innocence.

Lanez spoke during the hearing, and said how Megan is "someone I still care for dearly to this day."

Lanez also told the court that he shared a connection with Megan, stating, "We both lost our mothers. We would sit there and drink, and drink until we got numb."

"As a celebrity I’ve made mistakes but your honor, I’m not standing in front of you as a celebrity but as someone asking for a chance," Lanez implored the judge. 

"A common misconception is that I have no remorse, which is not true," Lanez said. "Everything I did wrong that night I take full responsibility for. I will do better."

An eyewitness tells ET that Raina Cassagne, the mother of Lanez's 6-year-old son, was visibly shaken when the sentencing was handed down by the judge. She exited the courtroom in tears flanked by family members.

ET has reached out to Megan's reps for comment regarding the sentencing.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón released a statement on Tuesday, following the sentencing, that expressed contentment with the decision and praised Megan -- whose real name is Megan Pete.

"Over the past three years, Mr. Peterson has engaged in a pattern of conduct that was intended to intimidate Ms. Pete. and silence her truths from being heard," the statement shared. "Women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault because they are too often not believed."

"I commend Megan Pete for her incredible bravery and vulnerability as she underwent months of probing investigation and court appearances where she had to relive her trauma, and the public scrutiny that followed," Gascón's statement continued. "This case highlighted the numerous ways that our society must do better for women."

Megan did not appear in court during the sentencing. Instead, the Traumazine rapper submitted an impact statement that was read by the prosecution. "Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace," Megan said in a statement read by Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta. "Slowly but surely, I'm healing and coming back, but I will never be the same."

The 28-year-old previously testified during the trial, telling the court that she was having "a really difficult time sitting up here comfortably telling my story. I've got to sit across from Tory ... I'm really trying to come off as a strong woman. I don't want to give them the power they've been taking from me going on three years."

In her statement, the hip-hop star reiterated the sentiment, sharing that she struggled with whether she should give her statement in person, but "simply could not bring myself to be in a room with Tory again."

She asked that her decision not be taken as a sign of indifference, urging that Judge David Herriford issue a stiff sentence and make Lanez take full accountability for his actions.

"I've been tormented and terrorized. He lied to anyone that would listen... He paid bloggers to disseminate false information, he treated my trauma like a joke when I could've been dead," Megan continued, noting that Lanez hasn't shown any remorse. "He blamed the system, he blamed the press, and as of late he is using his childhood trauma to justify his actions."

"His crime warrants the full weight of the law," she wrote.

Eight additional witness statements were prepared on behalf of Lanez, with all eight witnesses appearing in person to read their statements one by one. The courtroom reached full capacity, with Lanez's family filling up a good majority of the allocated family space. Lanez's father, Sonstar Peterson, arrived looking somber as numerous family members flanked him on either side.

On Monday, Judge Herriford ruled that two of the three circumstances prosecutors argued aggravated Lanez's crimes and warranted a longer prison sentence: his use of a semi-automatic firearm and Megan's vulnerability as a victim. He dismissed the argument that Lanez's intentions were cruel, callous and/or vicious, saying that the prosecution did not prove that.

Lanez's father was one of the witnesses who spoke on behalf of his son, pleading that the judge show mercy to his son. He apologized for an earlier outburst in court, saying he was "very emotional" over his son's situation. Peterson, a Christian minister, talked about how Lanez was deeply affected by the death of his late wife, Luella, who died just a few days after showing the first symptoms of a rare blood disorder. "But his music became his outlet," he said.

In a tearful apology, Peterson said, "God has put it in his hands," and quoted a Bible verse. 

Judge Herriford revealed that he got over 70 letters of support for Lanez, including one from Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and two jailers. He briefly summarized each letter, saying Azalea asked that the sentence be "transformational, not life-destroying."

A chaplain also spoke, saying that Lanez has started a daily prayer in the protective custody unit that has "lessened tensions" between inmates. 

When court resumed on Tuesday morning, Cassagne testified that Lanez has had alcohol addiction issues in the past, citing two examples of him needing his stomach pumped while he was touring overseas between 2018-2019.

Cassagne said Lanez would drink up to a full bottle of Patron (750 ml) a night and would often drink due to him being at social or for work engagements. She claimed she and Lanez were going to enter a joint rehab program, she for her postpartum depression and him for alcoholism. While Cassagne was able to go to treatment, she said Lanez wasn't due to work and "life's commitments."

A therapist testified that Lanez exhibits signs of alcoholism and that his former past traumas exacerbated his issues. She said he developed a high tolerance and could function daily with the use of alcohol. The therapist also claimed it's "very common" for people in the public eye to hide their issues because of fame, and therefore it's not uncommon for this to be happening in plain sight.

Lanez's defense team also argued that the DA went above and beyond with their legal "enhancements" when making their 13-year recommendation for the rapper's sentencing. The prosecution pushed back, pointing out that they do this for most cases, saying that Lanez's case isn't an exception because it's considered high-profile. "This was a violent shooting over ego," they argued, adding that the defense "has been trying to use this strategy over and over."

Prosecutors argued that their reason for recommending Judge Herriford sentence Lanez to 13 years in prison is that they believe the rapper could repeat this type of crime in the future.

Megan first accused the rapper of shooting her in the feet in August 2020, sharing that the assault occurred after a pool party at the home of Kylie Jenner in July of that year. Lanez was officially charged in October 2020 and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

After the Texas Southern University graduate came forward with her allegations, the case played out on social media and even in music released by rappers not involved in the conflict. On his album, Daystar, released in 2020 and more than two months after the encounter, Lanez refuted Megan's allegations on the album's first track, "Money Over Fallouts," claiming that Megan and her team are trying to frame him.

Meanwhile, Megan has called out false reporting, dealt with Lanez allegedly fabricating emails from her label for the press and suffered intense victim-blaming from the shooting incident. 

The trial got underway on Dec. 12 in Los Angeles. In opening statements, the prosecution argued that the shooting was a result of Lanez's bruised ego after Megan criticized his musical career, allegedly firing toward her feet as she walked away from the car they had both been riding in along with Kelsey Harris -- Megan's best friend and assistant at the time. The defense has disputed that Lanez fired the shots, suggesting it had been Harris wielding the gun, whom they claimed was upset that Megan and Lanez had been intimate with each other.

Several witnesses took the stand to testify, including Megan, Harris, and the 9-1-1 caller from the night of the shooting. 

When the 28-year-old rapper gave her testimony on day two of the trial, she recounted her personal relationships with both Lanez and Harris, telling the court that she and Lanez had become friends and bonded over the shared loss of their mothers in the months before the shooting. They also occasionally had a sexual relationship, which Harris learned for the first time inside that SUV.

Megan criticized Lanez's "musical skills," which is what she said led to the altercation. 

"Tory was basically telling me I wasn't s**t, and I said, 'Actually, You ain't s**t. This is where you at in your career. This is where you at with your music.' And I feel like that really rubbed him the wrong way. He kept yelling and cursing," she said, according to Rolling Stone.

Megan told jurors that Lanez allegedly promised each woman $1 million if they did not tell police about the incident, claiming he was on probation for a prior weapons offense.

When asked why she didn't initially report the shooting, Megan reiterated her previous assertion that she wanted to protect everyone involved, especially during the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. "This was at the height of police brutality... I felt like if I said this man just shot me, I didn't know if they might shoot first and ask questions later," she testified. She also noted how "in the Black community... it's not really acceptable to be cooperating with police officers."

Megan said her reasoning was two-fold because, as a woman in the music industry, "people have a hard time believing you anyway."

"I'm having a really difficult time sitting up here comfortably telling my story," Megan told the court. "I've got to sit across from Tory ... I'm really trying to come off as a strong woman. I don't want to give them the power they've been taking from me going on three years."

When Harris took the stand as a witness for the prosecution, she refused to identify Lanez as the shooter and instead said she never saw him with a gun. She said she wasn't telling the truth when interviewed by prosecutors in September 2022 when she clearly identified Lanez as the gunman and said he'd attacked her after the shooting, pulling her hair and bruising her neck.

Sean Kelly, the Hollywood Hills homeowner who witnessed the shooting from his bedroom balcony, testified for the defense. Kelly said he saw Lanez "firing everywhere," testifying that the rapper shot "four or five" shots in total. He testified that the muzzle flashes originated with a woman, but described Lanez as "going crazy" and hurling "a torrent of abuse" at a woman who fell to the ground after the flashes.

Prosecutors' evidence included Harris' recorded 80-minute interview -- which jurors ended up hearing after Judge Herriford ruled Lanez’s lawyer opened the door for it by implying prosecutors unfairly pressured Harris during it, -- an apologetic text Lanez sent to Megan after the shooting, as well as a phone call between Lanez and Harris, which the rapper made from jail, in which he apologizes and says he was drunk and didn't know what he was going on. Lanez tells Harris that he doesn't "move like that" and can't remember what they were arguing about. Lanez's lawyers argued that he was apologizing for sleeping with both Megan and Harris, not for shooting Megan.

In January, David Kenner and Matthew Barhoma stepped in as Lanez's new lawyers, taking over for George Mgdesyan and Shawn Holley -- who withdrew herself from the case after disagreeing with his plan to convince jurors Harris shot Megan --  to appeal the convictions. Kenner famously defended Snoop Dogg in his 1996 murder trial, and Barhoma specializes in criminal appeals.

At Kenner's request, Judge Herriford rescheduled Lanez's sentencing from Jan. 27 to Feb. 28, so the attorney could file a motion for a new trial that would toss Lanez's three convictions. On Feb. 28, the hearing was pushed back again to April 10. 

By the April 10 hearing, Kenner had stepped down as Lanez's lawyer, and prominent Miami, Fl., lawyer Jose Baez joined the legal team alongside Barhoma. The rapper's lawyers filed a motion for a new trial on March 29, arguing that he was deprived of a fair trial. 

According to reporting by Rolling Stone, Baez and Barhoma cited multiple grounds for the appeal, including a claim that the judge "erroneously allowed" jurors to view a September 2020 Instagram post from Lanez's personal account claiming Megan's now-estranged best friend, Kelsey Harris, was not the shooter.

The motion also alleged that the prosecution interfered with Lanez's right to counsel with a line of questioning to Harris, a key witness, regarding accusations that Lanez tried to bribe Harris. In September 2022, Harris had a lengthy interview with investigators, but backtracked parts of her testimony during the trial, citing anxiety and postpartum depression for her inconsistency. 

Baez reportedly claimed prosecutors used a photo showing Lanez's chest tattoo of a firearm to insinuate to the jury that the rapper has a fondness for guns and "impermissibly chilled" his right to testify by ruling that if he testified, the state could introduce his rap lyrics and a music video under cross-examination.

In response, the prosecution said the motion lacked substance and the guilty verdict should stand, according to NBC News. "Despite being nearly 80 pages long, the defendant has failed to cite a single instance of error in the trial court," the prosecutors wrote in their response.

The court reconvened on May 8, during which Lanez's team argued their case for a new trial. Baez claimed that Lanez's previous counsel did not have enough time to prepare for trial and ultimately "failed" Lanez.

Judge Herriford repeatedly told Baez that a motions hearing was not an opportunity to "relitigate this case."

On May 9, Judge Herriford denied the motion for a new trial. He said he found no trial errors in the issues raised by Lanez's legal team. He added that even if he determined the alleged errors were, in fact, errors, none had such an effect on trial that it could have changed Lanez's guilty verdicts.

Judge Herriford noted that Lanez's lawyers didn't mention any other evidence against Lanez when alleging problems with some evidence, but his job as a judge is to focus on the totality of the case, "not cherry-pick very small portions."

"Even if all these rulings had gone your way, the outcome wouldn't be different," Judge Herriford concluded.

Meanwhile, Megan has opened up about her healing journey after testifying against her one-time friend

Reflecting on the past three years, the Traumazine artist told ELLE's May cover issue that she doesn't want to call herself a victim, rather she views herself "as a survivor."

"I have truly survived the unimaginable. 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," she said, referencing the wave of backlash from peers and fans alike after coming forward with her accusations. "For years, my attacker tried to leverage social media to take away my power. Imagine how it feels to be called a liar every day? Especially from a person who was once part of your inner circle."

The GRAMMY winner shared that she wishes she could have handled everything privately, but felt her hand was forced by Lanez. "...Once my attacker made it public, everything changed. By the time I identified my attacker, I was completely drained. Many thought I was inexplicably healed because I was still smiling through the pain, still posting on social media, still performing, still dancing, and still releasing music," she recounted, admitting that despite what she posted on social media, she had begun falling into "a depression."

She revealed, "I was in such a low place that I didn't even know what I wanted to rap about. I wondered if people even cared anymore. There would be times that I'd literally be backstage or in my hotel, crying my eyes out, and then I'd have to pull Megan Pete together and be Megan Thee Stallion."

Although Megan called the jury's Dec. 23 conviction "vindication for me" and "a victory for every woman who has ever been been shamed, dismissed and blamed for a violent crime committed against them," she shared that the experience shed even more light on why violence against women can be largely unreported.

"So many times, people looked at me and thought, 'You look strong. You're outspoken. You're tall. You don't look like somebody who needs to be saved.' They assumed that, per preconceived stigmas, 'I didn't fit the profile of a victim,' and that I didn't need support or protection," she reflected. "Time after time, women are bullied with backlash for speaking out against their attackers, especially when they're accusing someone who is famous and wealthy... Any support and empathy that I received was drowned out by overwhelming doubt and criticism from so many others."

Read more about the case against Lanez below.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential.