Rapper Tory Lanez found guilty on all charges in shooting of Megan Thee Stallion

The rapper was charged with shooting Megan Thee Stallion on July 12, 2020.

December 23, 2022, 9:50 PM

A jury in Los Angeles found rapper Tory Lanez guilty on all three charges in the shooting of hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion on July 12, 2020 in the Hollywood Hills.

"The jury got it right. I am thankful there is justice for Meg," Megan Thee Stallion's attorney Alex Spiro told ABC News in a statement after the verdict was announced Friday afternoon.

Chaos reportedly broke out in the court room after the verdict was announced, with Lanez's father screaming at prosecutors, calling them "witches" and "evil," according to Los Angeles station KABC.

"You two are evil, wicked," Lanez's father yelled at prosecutors as the jury left the court room, while Lanez's defense attorneys tried to deescalate the situation.

Lanez was later taken into custody.

Lanez's defense attorney George Mgdesyan told ABC News in a phone interview Friday evening that Lanez and his team were "shocked" by the guilty verdict.

"We're very disappointed, shocked and didn't expect it," he said. "We didn't think the people could prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt."

Asked if they plan to appeal, Mgdesyan told ABC News that they "will deal with all post-trial motions at the appropriate time," including an appeal.

"We are going to do everything we can. This fight is not over," he said.

He said Lanez was "very surprised, very disappointed, shocked but he holds strong onto his faith and believes the truth will come out."

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27 at 8:30 a.m. local time, according to KABC.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in a statement recognized the "bravery" of Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Pete, pointing to some of the commentary around the case.

"You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve," he wrote. "You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation."

This case has sparked intense debates over society's treatment of women, and Megan's account of the incident -- and the intense public vitriol she faced after sharing her story -- has spotlighted the Protect Black Women movement, which addresses the two-front battle of sexism and racism Black women experience in their own communities and in society at large.

PHOTO: Singer Tory Lanez returns to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center for his trial Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles.
In this Dec. 13, 2022, file photo, singer Tory Lanez returns to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center for his trial in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

"Even as a victim, I have been met with skepticism and judgment," Megan wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times published on Oct. 13, 2020. "There's not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman."

"Women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault and sexual violence because they are too often not believed," Gascón said in his Friday statement.

"It's ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase 'Protect Black Women' is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings," Pete wrote in the 2020 op-ed.

The jury, including alternates, was made up of nine women and five men, including four Black jurors. They deliberated for seven hours over two days before finding Lanez guilty.

During the two-week trial, jurors heard testimony from various witnesses, including Pete herself. Pete's former friend Kelsey Harris, who was one of four people present when Pete was shot, also testified.

Harris initially corroborated details that point to Lanez as the alleged shooter in a September video interview with prosecutors but changed her story on the witness stand last week.

A key piece of evidence presented to the jury was a text message Harris sent to Pete's then-body guard Justin Edison moments after the incident, saying, "Help Tory shot Meg 911."

"I don't know why I said that to Justin. I didn't see anything happen," Harris testified, according to Los Angeles' KABC.

Edison, who was subpoenaed to testify in this case, went missing a day before his scheduled testimony last Friday, his father told "GMA," but as the jury deliberated, his family announced he was located.

Witnesses also included police who responded to the shooting, forensic experts who examined DNA evidence on the gun, a doctor who treated Megan's foot injuries and a neighbor who witnessed the shooting from his home.Pete testified last week that on the night of July 12, 2020, she got out of a car following an argument with Lanez and as she walked away, she turned her head and saw him with a gun, according to a reporter with Los Angeles ABC station KABC, who was in the courtroom.

PHOTO: Megan Thee Stallion whose legal name is Megan Pete makes her way from the Hall of Justice to the courthouse to testify in the trial of Rapper Tory Lanez for allegedly shooting her on Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles.
Megan Thee Stallion whose legal name is Megan Pete makes her way from the Hall of Justice to the courthouse to testify in the trial of Rapper Tory Lanez for allegedly shooting her on Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles.
Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

"He was holding the gun pointing at me," she said, according to KABC, and claimed that he said "dance b----" and fired his gun, injuring both her feet.

"I froze ... I felt shocked," she said. "I wasn't really sure if this was happening. ... I looked at the ground and saw the blood ... everyone was shocked."

Lanez, a popular rapper whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was initially charged in October 2020 with one felony count each of assault with a semi-automatic firearm (personal use of a firearm) and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, according to charging documents obtained by ABC News. "Personal use of a firearm" is not a separate charge but a sentencing enhancement linked to the first count that could increase Lanez's possible sentence.

He was charged earlier this month with an additional felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office confirmed to ABC News.

Lanez, who chose not to take the witness stand during the trial, pleaded not guilty to all three charges. His defense attorneys argued during the trial that their client was not the shooter.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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