DA says Megan Thee Stallion ‘matters’ at Tory Lanez shooting trial


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion would never have submitted to the torrent of public abuse she received had she not told the truth about rapper Tory Lanez shooting her in the feet and injuring her in the summer of 2020.

Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott said the jury should believe Megan’s anguish – evident in her testimony last week – and her courage to fight on. Jurors should also do Megan justice by convicting Lanez, he said, citing the scorn she received online and in parts of the hip-hop community.

“Why would she lie?” said the Los Angeles County prosecutor. “She was subjected to a flood of hate. Why? For coming forward as a victim of domestic violence? »

In his own conclusion, Lanez’s defense attorney, George Mgdesyan, gave jurors what he called a very good reason for Megan to lie: being a victim of Lanez was a better public story than the embarrassing truth and potentially damaging to her career that she was shot by her best friend. – not Lanez – in a jealous argument about him.

“Megan Pete is a liar. She lied about everything in this case from the start,” Mgdesyan said. “She lied under oath here.”

He said Lanez actually struggled with Megan’s former friend Kelsey Harris to stop him from shooting, and that a pause heard on an audio recording in the middle of the five shots fired that night of July 12, 2020 was proof of this.

“He was trying to protect her,” Mgdesyan said.

Megan Thee Stallion whose legal name is Megan Pete arrives in court to testify in the trial of rapper Tory Lanez on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Mgdesyan poked fun at Megan’s experience in the years since.

“It’s been so bad for her,” he said. “She won Grammys. She had number one on the Billboard charts.

“Do you know who it was bad for? That man right there,” Mgdesyan said, pointing to Lanez. “He couldn’t work. He had to go through this with his family for 2 and a half years.

Canadian rapper Lanez, 30, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, has pleaded not guilty to grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying a weapon loaded and unregistered fire in a vehicle. The charges could result in up to 22 years in prison and deportation.

Bott said Megan’s testimony was by itself sufficient to convict, but it is supported by layers of other evidence, including accounts from other eyewitnesses and Lanez’s apology.

Megan testified that she left a rally at Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood Hills home in an SUV with Lanez, her bodyguard and Harris. Megan and Harris have since separated.

She said an argument broke out that resulted in her insulting Lanez’s music, which made him particularly upset. She testified that as she started to walk away from the SUV, he shot her in the feet and shouted “dance, b――!”

Megan had to undergo surgery to remove bullet fragments.

When Harris took the helm, she said she didn’t remember seeing Lanez fire the gun, and only assumed he did when she texted a few minutes later. saying “Tory shot Megan” to a man who worked as security for Megan. She denied firing the gun herself.

But prosecutors were then allowed to play an interview Harris did with them in September, in which she clearly identified Lanez as the shooter.

Daystar Peterson, the Canadian rapper known as Tory Lanez, is out on bail after being charged with felony assault for allegedly shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion at his feet.
Daystar Peterson, the Canadian rapper known as Tory Lanez, is out on bail after being charged with felony assault for allegedly shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion at his feet.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

In an email to The Associated Press, Harris’ attorney Daniel Nardoni would not comment on her role, saying he urged her to invoke her 5th Amendment rights on the stand, despite partial immunity granted by prosecutors.

Mgdesyan asked jurors to weigh the likelihood of violence stemming from an insult to someone’s music or an argument between two women over a man.

“What is most likely to lead to a shooting?” he said.

He told jurors it was clear Megan was lying because she denied having had an argument of any significance with Harris, despite a defense witness who saw the stopped SUV from his nearby balcony and said he saw the two women in the car fight violently. Witness Sean Kelly also said he saw muzzle flashes from a woman as the shots were fired.

But prosecutors also used testimony from the man, who said he saw a small man “shooting everywhere”.

Mgdesyan said Megan changed over time to say she was heading towards the front of the SUV rather than the back, to match her description of Lanez shooting at her over the open door of the car. He said she invented the “dance, b――!” line, which no one else testified to having heard, as to why she was looking over her shoulder to see that he was firing.

Rapper Tory Lanez, 30, walks out of the courthouse while holding his five-year-old son Kai'Lon in Los Angeles on Tuesday.  The Canadian rapper pleaded not guilty to grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.
Rapper Tory Lanez, 30, walks out of the courthouse while holding his five-year-old son Kai’Lon in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Canadian rapper pleaded not guilty to grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The lawyer used the image to joke about his client’s height.

“He’s 5ft 2in, I don’t know if he can even get over a car to shoot!” Mgdesyan said, prompting a laugh from Lanez, who was watching from the defense table in a blue suit and black turtleneck.

Mgdesyan told the judge earlier today that Lanez would not testify. The defense was due to complete its closing arguments on Thursday, with the jury receiving the case after the prosecution was rebutted.

Bott ended her presentation on Wednesday with a quote from Megan’s testimony, in which she said there were times when “I wish he had shot me and killed me.”

“Megan is important,” Bott said. “This case matters. Blame him for shooting Megan for nothing more than a bruised ego.

Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton




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