On Tuesday, Tory Lanez (Daystar Peterson) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion (Megan Pete) following a gathering at Kylie Jenner’s Los Angeles home in 2020. The hearing began on Monday, but because the proceedings lasted until the evening, Peterson’s sentence was not read until Tuesday morning.
Before the sentence was delivered, Peterson addressed the court and referred to Pete as his “friend” and “someone I still care for dearly to this day.” Regarding the night of the shooting, he said: “I said some very immature things that I shouldn’t have said. I revealed some secrets I shouldn’t have revealed.”
In December 2022, Peterson was found guilty on all three charges: one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, one of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, and one of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. He faced a maximum sentence of 22 years in prison and possible deportation to Canada.
The prosecution had previously asked the judge for a 13-year sentence. Peterson’s attorneys—who maintain that he is innocent, but said that if he did shoot Pete, it was because of addiction and trauma issues—last week proposed probation and a stay in a residential drug treatment facility.
“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,” his defense attorneys wrote in a 41-page memo filed in court. “Mr. Peterson’s alcohol-use disorder, although not amounting to a defense, reduced his culpability.”
According to Meghann Cuniff, a Law and Crime reporter who was present in the courtroom, Judge David Herriford said he received over 70 letters of support for Peterson, including from a Missouri police chief; a state representative; a doctor who treated him for hair loss; and rapper Iggy Azalea. She reportedly wrote that Peterson should receive a sentence “that is transformational, not life destroying.”
Additionally, Herriford told the court that a jailer wrote a letter claiming Peterson is “remorseful” and has “talked in detail about the event and what he could have done to prevent it.”
Pete did not appear in court, but provided a written statement that read, in part: “At first, he tried to deny the shooting ever happened. Then, he attempted to place the blame on my former best friend. In his tantrum of lies, he’s blamed the system, blamed the press and, as of late, he’s using his childhood trauma to shield himself and avoid culpability.”
“For once, the defendant must be forced to face the full consequences of his heinous actions and face justice,” her statement continued.
Peterson’s sentencing hearing was originally set to take place in January, but was delayed multiple times as his attorneys pursued a new trial with the claim that evidence was wrongly admitted. His appeal for a second trial hinged on his attorneys—which include Casey Anthony’s former representation, Jose Baez—claiming that Herriford had erred in allowing jurors to see Peterson’s social media posts and that the prosecution “impermissibly chilled” his potential testimony by seeking to introduce his lyrics and a music video in potential cross-examination.
In May, Peterson begged Herriford not to “ruin his life” during a court hearing: “Please don’t ruin my life. I could be your son. I could be your brother.” Ultimately, Peterson was not awarded a new trial.
“Women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault because they are too often not believed,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, said of the sentence in a statement. “I commend Megan Pete for her incredible bravery and vulnerability as she underwent months of probing investigation and court appearances where she had to relive her trauma, and the public scrutiny that followed.”