By Fred Shuster
Rapper Tory Lanez was rejected Thursday in a bid to be released on bail pending an appeal of his conviction for shooting hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in the feet in the Hollywood Hills more than three years ago.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Herriford denied a motion by Lanez’s attorneys asking that he be allowed to post bail. The judge called Lanez a potential flight risk, adding that the Canadian rapper is not a U.S. citizen. He also noted that Lanez’s conviction was for a violence felony.
On Aug. 8, the 31-year-old Lanez — whose real name is Daystar Peterson — was sentenced to 10 years in state prison. He has been in custody since he was convicted Dec. 23 of one felony count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a loaded unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
In court Thursday, Lanez’s attorney Crystal Morgan insisted that Lanez is “not a threat to society” or a flight risk. She noted that the rapper has a wife and 6-year-old son, both of whom are U.S. citizens.
“On top of that, his family owns property here in the LA area,” Morgan argued, adding that Lanez has “very strong ties to the community” and always attended previous court hearings despite traveling abroad extensively.
Prosecutor Kathy Ta countered, however, that since his conviction, Lanez “is much more a significant flight risk,” noting that he has the financial resources to flee.
Lanez was in court in downtown Los Angeles for the hearing, wearing standard-issue orange jail clothes.
During the trial, Megan Thee Stallion testified that Lanez shot her during an argument on July 12, 2020, following a get-together at Kylie Jenner’s home. She said she had no doubt that Lanez fired the shots, and that he later offered her $1 million not to say anything. According to the singer, Lanez told her to “dance, bitch,” and then shot her in the feet.
Under cross-examination during the trial, the Grammy Award-winning singer — whose real name is Megan Pete — said she initially had no intention of talking about what had happened and “didn’t want to be a snitch,” but felt she had to “defend my name” when she saw that people were “making things up” and suggesting that she hadn’t been shot.
During the sentencing hearing in August, Deputy District Attorney Alexander Bott said Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion because she “bruised his ego.”
“The shooting was because of the argument in the car,” the prosecutor said, calling it an “act of misogyny” against her.
One of Lanez’s attorneys, Jose Baez, called that argument “nuts.” He said there was “no denying that alcohol was involved,” and urged the judge to consider Lanez’ history of childhood trauma, including his mother dying when he was 11.
“We’re talking about foolish, reckless behavior that could have been much worse. … The intent was not to take someone’s life,” Baez said of the shooting.
Baez said Peterson “admittedly was highly intoxicated” the night of the shooting and didn’t even remember afterward what the topic of the argument was. He said Lanez would benefit from a live-in substance abuse treatment program.
Lanez unsuccessfully asked the judge to consider an alternate sentence outside of prison that would allow him to be a betterment to society and show the world that what they’ve seen and heard during the trial “is not me.”
“I’m asking for redemption,” he said. “I’m asking for another chance.”
Lanez told the judge there is a misconception about him “being this monster” and “not having any remorse.”
“It’s just not true,” he said, pleading for a chance to be a father to his son, a mentor and contributor to society and a “light to people in dark places.”
“I truly am just trying to be a better person,” he said.