Tory Lanez has filed a request for a new trial after his death found guilty about the shooting dead of music superstar Megan Thee Stallion on a California roadside in July 2020. Lanez’s attorneys, Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma, cite several reasons in the new filings filed late Wednesday, including an allegation that the judge “falsely allowed” the jury to view a September 2020 Instagram post from Lanez’s personal account alleging Megan’s now-estranged best friend Kelsey Harris was not the shooter.
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The submission received by Rolling Stoneincludes a statement from Joshua Farias, the content creator of Lanez, in which Farias claims that he was managing Lanez’s Instagram at the time and was the one who responded to a comment about “that’s not true”. The shadow room Report stating, “People say Kelsey shot them.”
Lawyers for Lanez allege prosecutors ambushed her with the Instagram post mid-trial and the judge shouldn’t have blocked the post because the defense team didn’t have enough time to figure out who wrote the reply. His lawyers claim the post was an apparent admission by Tory that Kelsey did not fire the gun. His entire defense, meanwhile, was that Kelsey had fired the shots that wounded Megan — a claim that Kelsey and Megan adamantly denied this in the trial testimony.
“The court erred on numerous points of law in allowing the people to establish this post and depriving the accused of a fair trial,” the new motion reads. “The only acceptable remedy for this miscarriage of justice is a new trial.” Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was convicted of all three counts against him and faces a prison sentence of up to 22 years if convicted. That request for a new trial was expected after Peterson dropped his original defense attorney George Mgdesyan following his conviction and hired new legal representation.
At a hearing in early January, Peterson’s new attorneys — including famed hip-hop attorney David Kenner — successfully lobbied the judge Delay Peterson’s sentencing until April so they could review court records and prepare an application.
Along with the filing, Peterson announced that his legal team would undergo several other changes Rolling Stone, “Due to a scheduling conflict, David Kenner will no longer be part of my defense team. I would like to thank Mr. Kenner for his hard work and wise advice. Jose Baez will continue to represent me as first chair and Matthew Barhoma as vice chair.”
The request for a new trial also alleges that prosecutors “wrongly portrayed the defendant as a gun-wielding career criminal.” It is alleged that during the December trial, prosecutors “revealed their true motive” for releasing a shirtless photo of Peterson when they asked a witness if he “saw the large gun Tory aimed in the center of his chest.” tattooed”. Peterson’s attorneys argue that references to his tattoo and music in court cases have “deprived him of due process safeguards” in a new California law aimed at barring evidence of “creative expression” that could lead to racial prejudice . Peterson’s legal team said the disputed evidence resulted in an “improper account of criminal propensity based on his ‘gangster’ rapper personality.”
The new law, AB 2799, went into effect nine days after Peterson’s conviction.
“Ironically, the defendant’s tattoo was a tribute to Tupac Shakur. Mr. Shakur used his music and tattoos to discuss sociopolitical issues that affected the black community in the 1990s,” the new filing reads. “Mr. Shakur wore the same AK-47 tattoo on his chest as a symbol of black unity and the fight against racism.” Peterson’s attorneys also argue that the court “unduly diminished” his right to testify by ruling that the State could cross-examine his rap lyrics and a music video if he testified.The video for the 2022 track “Cap” shows Lanez sharpening a bloody hatchet before using it on something resembling a horse’s leg looks.
“I gotta watch Tory do music videos where horses’ legs are chopped up and people laugh at it like that’s okay,” Megan said during her appearance on the witness stand.
The new defense motion alleges that Lanez has the right to “exercise” his testimony rights without such incriminating evidence because the California legislature “had already deemed it “prejudicial rather than conclusive” by passage of AB 2799,” even though the new law had done so not yet entered into force. Prosecutors are expected to file a response to the new application ahead of a scheduled hearing on the matter, now scheduled for April 10. While Lanez’s sentencing is scheduled for the same date on the court calendar, sources say an agreement has been reached to move the sentencing forward to a later hearing.
The details in the new movement reflect reports of Peterson’s frustration at the way his trial was going. As Rolling Stone previously reported, a Source near Peterson said the singer wanted to take the witness stand and present his case directly before the jury, but was ultimately dissuaded by Mgdesyan – a decision Peterson eventually regretted. (Megan, on the other hand have witnessed during the negotiation.)
While Peterson may have been frustrated by Mgdesyan’s decision, taking a stand would have been risky. Prosecutors said they were prepared to present ample evidence of impeachment against the singer beyond the music video and lyrics. Among such possible evidence was Peterson’s alleged bodily harm to musician August Alsina in September 2022, and even Peterson’s alleged “lies about how tall he is,” Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott told the court at the time.
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