Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in jail with 345 days of custody credit by a California judge on Tuesday afternoon, almost eight months after he was found guilty by a jury in late December 2022 for shooting Megan Thee Stallion.
The Canadian rapper was found guilty of felony charges, one count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, one count of carrying a concealed, loaded, and unregistered firearm, as well as discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner to cause bodily injury in the shooting of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion in July 2020.
Ahead of his sentencing, which began on Monday, Judge David Herriford found two of the three aggravating factors listed by the prosecution were present in the case. These are that Lanez used a dangerous weapon and that the victim, Megan was “particularly vulnerable”.
However, the judge concluded that there was not enough to prove there was a higher degree of cruelty, viscousness, or callousness.
The sentencing hearing continued on Tuesday with Judge Herriford directing questions to the defense about Lanez’s alleged alcohol addiction, asking about evidence to show the rapper was an alcoholic, as advocated by his defense lawyers as the reason for his behavior during the shooting.
In the sentencing memo sent by the defense, two professionals diagnosed him as suffering from alcoholism, but the judge pointed out that the diagnosis by professionals was based on Tory’s own statements.
He also questioned the relevance of the claim, especially since Lanez continues to proclaim his innocence.
“Your client at no time indicates he actually shot the victim,” the judge said to defense counsel Baez.
“What is he alleging he did as a result of alcohol-use disorder if he didn’t do anything?” Herriford asked. “What did the doctor conclude he did as a result of alcohol use? It’s very unclear,” he added.
Despite arguments by Lanez’s lawyer Jose Baez, prosecutors argued Lanez had no known alcohol addiction before the shooting and that he was walking properly in videos by police officers who responded to the scene.
The sentence came after the prosecution asked that Tory be sentenced to 13 years in jail for the gravity of the offense. However, the defense asked that the rapper be sentenced to probation and sent to a drug treatment program to deal with his alcohol addiction or, alternatively three years in jail.
In a lengthy 41-page response, the defense led by attorneys Baez and Ed Welbourn said that the rapper was innocent, but he should still be treated with leniency because his actions were caused by childhood trauma, mental illness, and other problems.
“Assuming the allegations are true, Mr. Peterson’s psychological, physical, and childhood trauma was a factor in the commission of the offense. Likewise, the current offense is connected to Mr. Peterson’s childhood trauma and mental illness, alcohol-use disorder.”
The lawyers asked that Lanez be sentenced to a three-year prison sentence and said the prosecution recommendations are a departure from what is customary in the state of California.
Citing a report from an independent psychologist, the defense argued that the rapper’s alcoholism s behind much of his violent behaviors, and his treatment should be a mitigating factor considered by the judge.
“In this case, Mr. Peterson suffered from a mental condition, alcohol use disorder, at the time of the offense. Dr. Gharibian concluded that Mr. Peterson’s alcohol addiction “compromised his ability to manage and regulate his emotions and behaviors and that his alcohol use disorder played a significant role in the alleged offenses.”
The defense memo added, “If sentenced to a term of probation, Mr. Peterson will be able to resume his charitable activities and provide much-needed support for underserved communities in Los Angeles and beyond.”
During the trial, Megan Thee Stallion took the stand to testify as she recalled the moment Lanez fired shots at her and yelled, “Dance, bitch!”
“I’m in shock. I’m scared. I hear the gun going off and I can’t believe he’s shooting at me. [Lanez] looked shocked. Kelsey looked shocked. JaQuan [the driver/Lanez security] looked shocked,” she said on the stand.
Tory Lanez did not take the stand to defend himself. His defense turned on its head after a witness called by Lanez testified that he saw him shooting at Megan Thee Stallion and Kelsey.