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Judge upholds assault charges against Tory Lanez in shooting of Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion waves in front of a wall decorated with Grammy statuettes
Megan Thee Stallion says she was shot in the foot in Hollywood in 2020 after an argument with rapper Tory Lanez.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles County judge upheld assault charges Tuesday against rapper Tory Lanez, who is accused of shooting Megan Thee Stallion’s feet following a dispute in Hollywood last summer.

Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, shook his head, seemingly in disgust, several times throughout the 90-minute preliminary hearing, shouting at a detective at one point before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Borjon upheld the assault and weapons possession charges against the 29-year-old.

Both Lanez and his defense attorney declined to comment outside the courtroom.

Prosecutors allege Lanez and a 25-year-old victim, identified in court documents as Megan P. Stallion, got into a dispute while riding in an SUV together in the Hollywood Hills. Lanez is accused of shooting the “WAP” and “Savage” rapper’s feet.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Det. Ryan Stogner testified that Lanez yelled “Dance, bitch!” as he opened fire, according to an earlier interview he’d conducted with Stallion.

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The two were driving away from a party hosted by Kylie Jenner in the Hollywood Hills, along with Lanez’ bodyguard and a friend of Stallion, Stogner said. An argument ensued, and Stallion demanded to be let out of the car, according to Stogner, who said she later told police that Lanez shot at her as she walked away from the vehicle.

Initially, Stallion told police that she had injured her feet by stepping on broken glass after a party at the home of Kylie Jenner. Police first arrested Lanez on suspicion of possession of an unregistered firearm.

But in an Instagram Live video posted last August, Stallion accused Lanez of shooting her and said she held back during initial contacts with police because she was afraid of causing legal trouble for her friend.

Stallion also said she was hesitant to report the shooting out of fear that responding officers might use force against Lanez if they came across a car full of Black men and women in possession of a gun, according to Stogner.

“She was afraid that there had been recent police shootings, and she described her concern for the police possibly shooting the defendant since he had just committed a shooting,” he said Tuesday.

Lanez’ defense attorney, Shawn Holley, questioned Stallion’s logic about fear of police violence, noting that she didn’t make any claims about Lanez while in the care of paramedics later on or when she was being treated at Cedars-Sinai. Holley also repeatedly questioned Stogner about the validity of Stallion’s statements to police, noting that while several other witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the area, none heard Lanez’ alleged exclamation of “dance, bitch!”

Prosecutors said Lanez placed a jail phone call to a friend of Stallion on the night of the shooting, apologizing for what happened.

“I’m deeply sorry … so I feel crazy that I made a mistake,” Lanez said, according to a partial transcript of the call read in court by Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Kathy Ta on Tuesday. “What happened, happened already. I can’t take it back. I’m just telling y’all I’m sorry.”

Stogner also testified that the rapper admitted to being drunk and remorseful during the same conversation. As the detective spoke, Lanez repeatedly shook his head before finally yelling at Stogner.

“How about you tell me what I was apologizing for, bro? That don’t make no sense,” Lanez shouted before being asked to be quiet by Holley and Borjon.

Holley later noted that Lanez did not specifically apologize for the shooting on the call.

Lanez is due back in court on Jan. 13. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 22 years and 8 months in state prison. Earlier this year, prosecutors said they had engaged in “meaningful discussions” with Lanez about a possible plea deal, according to a report in Rolling Stone.

Ta declined to comment on settlement negotiations. Holley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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