Rapper Tory Lanez appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday after his attorneys filed a motion for a new trial in the shooting of fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
Lanez, who was convicted on Dec. 23, 2022, for shooting and injuring the hip-hop star, whose legal name is Megan Pete, was initially set to be sentenced in January but the sentencing has been delayed several times after he obtained new attorneys.
Lanez’s current attorneys, Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma, filed a motion for a new trial last month, argued in part that certain evidence presented at trial and some statements made by witnesses on the stand were prejudicial to their client, including an Instagram post and a photo of Lanez’s gun tattoo. The motion, which was obtained by ABC News, also takes issue with the forensic testing and claims that Lanez’s right to counsel of his choice was violated.
The rapper’s defense team said in court on Monday it plans to file on May 1 a supplemental response to the motion, which has further delayed the rapper’s sentencing.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting this case, filed a motion on April 6 asking the judge to deny the defense’s request for a new trial.
In the motion, which was obtained by ABC News, prosecutors argued the defense’s argument for a new trial “lacks substance.”
The judge on Monday sets a hearing for May 8, with the expectation that the sentencing will happen within 30 days of that hearing if the motion for a new trial is denied.
Lanez was found guilty by a jury of three charges for shooting and injuring Megan in both feet in an incident in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020. The rapper is facing up to 22 years and 8 months in prison.
Lanez, a popular rapper whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was initially charged in October 2020 with one felony count each of assault with a semi-automatic firearm (personal use of a firearm) and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, according to charging documents obtained by ABC News. “Personal use of a firearm” is not a separate charge, but a sentencing enhancement linked to the first count that could increase Lanez’s possible sentences.
He was also charged ahead of his trial in December 2022 with an additional felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Lanez, who chose not to take the witness stand during the trial, pleaded not guilty to all three charges. His defense attorneys argued during the trial that Lanez was not the shooter.
This case has sparked intense debates over society’s treatment of women, and Pete’s account of the incident — and the intense public vitriol she faced after sharing her story — has spotlighted the Protect Black Women movement, which addresses the two-front battle of sexism and racism Black women experience in their own communities and in society at large.
Prosecutor Alexander Bott said outside the courtroom on Monday that Pete had been “anticipating sentencing happening” and “she wants closure in this portion of her life.”
ABC News’ Zohreen Shah contributed to this report.