Following eight days of trial, nearly two days of closing arguments and a day of deliberations, a grand jury has found Tory guilty of all three charges levied against him on Friday (December 23), according to theNew York Times.
The three counts were felony assault with a semiautomatic firearm, possession of a concealed, unregistered firearm and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. Lanez pleaded not guilty to all three.
Breaking News: A Los Angeles jury found Daystar Peterson, the rapper better known as Tory Lanez, guilty of shooting a fellow artist, Megan Thee Stallion, in both of her feet following an argument about their romantic entanglements and careers in 2020. https://t.co/RDryyi7zV9
— New York Times Music (@nytimesmusic) December 23, 2022
The trial was filled with twists and turns throughout the 10 days. Kelsey Harris had been expected to corroborate Megan’s account of the moments that led up to her shooting, and instead, she delivered a statement that contradicted her former friend and employer’s testimony almost entirely.
Whereas Megan Thee Stallion told the court that Tory had offered her $1 million in exchange for her silence about what took place on the night of July 12, 2020, Kelsey Harris told both the prosecution and the defense that she had never been offered any money by Tory Lanez.
Harris’ response also contradicted a statement she’d given to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office in September, where she’d confirmed some of the details which Megan Thee Stallion has held fast to since identifying Tory Lanez as her alleged shooter.
A witness named Sean Kelly also added a new angle with his testimony, alleging that he saw a woman shoot first while Lanez was still in the vehicle. “I believe I saw the girl shoot first,” he said. “[But] I believed it was fireworks.”
He also said Tory Lanez appeared to shoot as well. “I just saw he was very angry, shouting, and then the flashes then came from him. I never saw a gun,” Kelly said. “They were all fighting, so I just assumed he grabbed the gun.”
The prosecution and Tory Lanez’s attorney were at odds since the start of the trial on December 12. And as both sides made their final arguments to the jury on Wednesday and Thursday, each highlighted moments from the trial which they felt had gone their way.
According to Los Angeles Times reporter Jonah Valdez, who shared notes from the trial via Twitter, prosecutors brought the jury’s attention back to previous testimony by three firearms experts regarding the absence of DNA evidence on the gun. Prosecutors, on the other hand, redirected the jury to consider the firsthand account provided by a number of witnesses.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon (December 22), the Los Angeles Superior Court office of public information announced that a few minutes before the end of their session, the jurors requested that Judge David Herriford provide “a better definition of the word ‘willfully’ and ‘on purpose’” for the sake of their deliberation.
The jury had been given the option of continuing their deliberation after the Christmas holiday if they were unable to reach a decision on Thursday. Instead, they decided to resume on Friday morning.
Tory Lanez, who opted not to testify, faces up to 22 years in prison and deportation to his native Canada.