LANEZ GETS 10 YEARS, TO CHALLENGE VERDICT

LOS ANGELES. Canadian rapper Tory Lanez was on Tuesday sentenced to 10 years in prison but his lawyer said this was excessive and they will appeal against the sentence.

The sentence came more than seven months after he was convicted of shooting fellow musical artist Megan Thee Stallion during an argument in 2020.

Judge David Herriford handed down the sentence to the 30-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, during a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court that had been pushed back by delays.

Jose Baez, a defence lawyer representing Lanez, told reporters outside the courthouse that he thought the sentence was too harsh.

He said Lanez would appeal his conviction, saying he had not received a fair trial. Lanez’ lawyers had sought a sentence of probation.

“I have seen homicide case, other cases where there’s a death and the person still gets less than 10 years,” Baez said. 

“It’s just another example of somebody being punished for their celebrity status, someone being utilised as an example.”

On Dec. 23, a jury found Lanez guilty of carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle, assault with a semiautomatic handgun and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.

Lanez was accused of shooting Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion, 28, injuring her feet after a pool party in the Hollywood Hills in July 2020.

The shooting was preceded by an argument that became heated when the two began attacking each other’s music careers, she told the court during the two-week trial.

Megan Thee Stallion, who was born Megan Pete, needed surgery and spent four days in the hospital before physical therapy allowed her to walk again.

She did not attend the sentencing hearing, saying she could not bear to be in the same room as Lanez but wrote a statement that was read in court on Monday, the New York Times reported.

“He not only shot me, he made a mockery of my trauma,” the statement said. 

“This is a statement for all survivors that their lives matter and there is zero tolerance for the torture that accompanies violence.”

Megan Thee Stallion won Grammy awards for best new artist, best rap performance and best rap song in 2021. She has also been nominated for six more.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, whose office prosecuted the case, said after December’s verdict that women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes such as assault and sexual violence because they are too often not believed.

“The fact that Ms. Pete is a successful entertainer has brought the spotlight on the important issue of violence against women,” he told reporters after the verdict. – Reuters.

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