In a long-awaited conclusion to a legal saga that has captured headlines and attention, Tory Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the 2020 shooting of rapper Megan Thee Stallion. The sentencing marks the end of a tumultuous journey through the judicial system, characterized by delays, legal maneuvers, and intense scrutiny.
Originally scheduled for January 27, Tory Lanez’s sentencing had been repeatedly postponed due to a series of legal developments. One pivotal moment came when Lanez switched legal representation, trading George Mgdesyan for David Kenner, a lawyer known for his previous work with prominent figures like Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg. This switch was driven by the desire to prepare for the possibility of an appeal, a path Mgdesyan was not inclined to undertake. “I don’t do appeals,” Mgdesyan stated, prompting Lanez to enlist someone who could handle this aspect of the case.
In a strategic move in June, Lanez’s legal team, including attorneys Matthew Barhoma and Jose Baez, sought the disqualification of Judge David Herriford. They claimed that Herriford exhibited bias in favor of the prosecution, undermining the fairness of the proceedings. However, the appellate court ultimately rejected this argument, denying Lanez’s request for extraordinary relief.
Lanez’s legal team then pursued an alternative strategy. In a bid for leniency, they proposed a sentence of probation along with enrollment in a substance abuse program. This proposal was rooted in the argument that Lanez was grappling with alcoholism at the time of the shooting, suggesting that his impaired judgment mitigated his culpability. In a detailed 41-page memo filed by attorneys Jose Baez and Ed Welbourn on August 1st, it was emphasized that Lanez’s actions were influenced by a history of psychological, physical, and childhood trauma.
They asserted, “Assuming the allegations are true, Mr. Peterson’s psychological, physical, and childhood trauma played a role in the commission of the offense. Similarly, the current offense is linked to Mr. Peterson’s childhood trauma and mental illness, specifically his alcohol-use disorder.”
Defense attorney Matthew Barhoma is still involved in the case. He just showed up to the courthouse and I got the tail end of the media mob. pic.twitter.com/ZzUfiA3SOa— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 7, 2023
Also: Judge Herriford said while the shooting obviously involved alcohol, there is no evidence of Lanez being an alcoholic, including in the 76 letters submitted for Lanez. The doctor reports are entirely based on Lanez's own statements.— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
"What is he alleging he did as a result of alcohol-use disorder if he didn’t do anything?" Herriford asked. "What did the doctor conclude he did as a result of alcohol use? It's very unclear."— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
Baez said "yelling" and the "argument that went back and forth in the car."
The incident occurred on July 12, 2020, following a gathering at Kylie Jenner’s residence in Hollywood Hills. After leaving the event, Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion were involved in an altercation that resulted in Megan being shot in both feet. Lanez was accused of not only committing the assault but also verbally demeaning her by telling her to “dance b*tch.”
The trial that followed spanned nine days in a Los Angeles courtroom, culminating in the jury’s decision on December 23, 2022. The jury found Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, guilty on charges that included assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm with gross negligence, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.
The prosecution had sought a much harsher sentence of 13 years for Lanez, highlighting the severity of the charges and the weight of the evidence presented during the trial.
Ahead of sentencing, Judge David Herriford received over 70 letters of support for Tory Lanez. Notably, acclaimed artist Iggy Azalea penned a letter to Judge Herriford, urging him to craft a sentence that was “transformational, not life-destroying.”
Alright we are on the 90-minute break. Judge Herriford got 70+ letters of support for Tory Lanez, including one from @IggyAzalea. He briefly summarized each one. Two jailers wrote letters, one spoke in court. Lanez' father, Sonstar Peterson, was the last speaker before the break.— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 7, 2023
But Judge Herriford said no to finding the crime was done with a high-level of callousness. How this will affect the sentence is not yet known. We're going to get into that after lunch, after more speakers.— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 7, 2023
Judge Herriford’s role in shaping the sentence was pivotal. He deliberated over the aggravating factors that could influence the severity of the punishment. While acknowledging the use of a firearm and Megan Thee Stallion’s vulnerable status, Judge Herriford refrained from attributing a high degree of callousness to the commission of the crime.
A notable facet in Judge Herriford’s sentencing decision was his consideration of Lanez’s actions after the shooting. The judge stated that he believed Lanez’s post-shooting behavior, including social media posts and alleged harassment of Megan, constituted a significant aggravating factor in the sentencing. Although Judge Herriford clarified that he would not assess Lanez’s remorse, he drew parallels between the post-shooting actions and similar considerations.
Megan said she struggled with whether to attend in person, and her absence should be seen as her preserving her mental well being. She said since Tory shot her, "I've not experienced a single day of piece."— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 7, 2023
"He lied to anyone that would listen," Megan said of Lanez.
As the final gavel echoed, Tory Lanez’s fate was sealed by Judge Herriford’s ruling, emphasizing the intricate balance between justice, accountability, and the profound influence of actions.
Tory spoke for several minutes. He said he still cares about Megan. He called her "someone I still care for dearly to this day" regardless of what she may think of him.— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
He said "the victim's my friend." He talked about bonding with her over the loss of their mothers.
About the shooting: "I said some very immature things that I shouldn't have said. I revealed some secrets I shouldn't have revealed," Lanez said.— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
More from Megan Thee Stallion’s statement at Tory Lanez’s sentencing: “He not only shot me, he made a mockery of my trauma. He tried to position himself as a victim and set out to destroy my character and my soul.”— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
“He lied to anyone that would listen and paid bloggers to disseminate false information about the case on social media. He released music videos and songs to damage my character and continue his crusade.”— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
– Megan @TheeStallion’s written statement at Tory Lanez’s sentencing
“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.”— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) August 8, 2023
Kodak Black Arrested For Cocaine Possession & Evidence Tampering
On Thursday (Dec. 7), Kodak Black faced legal troubles once again as he was apprehended for cocaine possession and evidence tampering in Plantation, Florida. NBC Miami reported that the Florida native was taken into custody at Broward County Jail, with additional charges of improperly parking or stopping a vehicle and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
The incident unfolded when an officer noticed Black’s Bentley SUV parked in a roadway. Upon approaching, the officer discovered Black asleep in the driver’s seat, detecting a strong odor of burnt cannabis coming from the vehicle. Upon further inspection, the officer found a cup in the door smelling of alcohol, as well as “cannabis wrapping paper and suspect cannabis residue” in the center console. After instructing Black to exit the SUV, he nonchalantly mentioned there was only some weed inside.
A while later, the officer observed white powder falling from Black, leading to suspicion of attempting to discard illegal narcotics. The report detailed, “The powder was visible due to the strong scene lights of my patrol vehicle.” Approaching Black, the officer noticed his mouth was “full of white powder,” leading to this arrest. White rock-like substances on the ground were identified as Percocet by Black, but subsequent testing confirmed it to be cocaine.
Black’s recent arrest comes on the heels of his July 2022 arrest, where he faced charges of drug trafficking. Authorities discovered 31 pills, alleged to be oxycodone, in his possession, along with over $70,000 in cash.
Tsu Surf Sentenced to Five Years in Prison and $15,000 Fine After Pleading Guilty to RICO Conspiracy and Weapons Charges
Rahjon Cox, known as Tsu Surf, has been sentenced to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fined $15,000 by U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton following his October 2022 federal RICO indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey.
The charges included one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of possession of firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. Additionally, the 32-year-old was accused of active involvement in the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips sect, particularly with the Silverbacc Gorillas (SBG).
Initially, the stakes were even higher, with Surf confronting the possibility of a 30-year prison term. The racketeering conspiracy charge alone carried a maximum sentence of 20 years, and the felon in possession of a weapon charge could lead to an additional 10 years behind bars. Both charges also carried a fine of up to $250,000. However, in a pivotal moment, the DISPARU rapper altered his plea to guilty in April 2023, acknowledging his role in the racketeering conspiracy and admitting to possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon.
The legal shift unfolded during a virtual courtroom session on Thursday, April 27, as Cox pleaded guilty to two counts outlined in the superseding indictment—specifically, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy and possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon.
Time served, this about to be a breeze .— nunu nellz urlprincess (@THENUFILEZ_show) December 1, 2023
This just some of the faces that was in court today . The internet not a real place . The support has been consistent and most importantly REAL . @Tsu_Surf
The judge said most of the times those seats are empty . pic.twitter.com/jwTKpNcxKy
Diddy Steps Down As Chairman of REVOLT
Sean Combs, widely known as Diddy, has decided to step down from his role as Chairman of REVOLT following accusations of sexual assault by three women. The decision was communicated through an official statement posted on REVOLT’s Instagram page, affirming a commitment to their mission of creating meaningful content for the culture and amplifying the voices of Black people.
“Sean Combs has stepped down from his position as chairman of Revolt,” the statement reads. “While Mr. Combs has previously had no operational or day-to-day role in the business, this decision helps to ensure that Revolt remains steadfastly focused on our mission to create meaningful content for the culture and amplify the voices of all Black people throughout this country and the African diaspora.”
This announcement follows legal action initiated by Cassie, a former Bad Boy artist and Diddy’s ex-girlfriend. Cassie, born Cassandra Ventura, brought forth allegations of control, rape, and prolonged physical abuse spanning over a decade against Diddy (born Sean Combs) on Thursday, Nov. 18. Remarkably, within a swift 24-hour period, the two parties have managed to reach a settlement.
In a statement, Ventura remarked, “I have opted for an amicable resolution, securing terms that provide me with a measure of control. I extend my gratitude to my family, fans, and legal team for their unwavering support.”
Diddy, in response to the amicable resolution, expressed, “I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love.”
Regrettably, this resolution was shortly followed by accusations from Joi Dickerson-Neal, who accused Diddy of sexual assault and ‘revenge porn’ within a mere 24 hours of settling with Cassie. The complaint details allegations that Combs “drugged, sexually assaulted, and abused” Joi, and fell victim to “revenge porn” orchestrated and disseminated by the rapper.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, a third lawsuit, filed by a Jane Doe, alleges that Diddy and R&B singer Aaron Hall took turns raping her and her friends at Hall’s apartment sometime between 1990 and 1991. A representative for Combs vehemently dismissed this lawsuit as “fabricated claims.”
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