(Al Jazeera) Canadian rapper Tory Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, more than seven months after he was convicted of shooting fellow musical artist Megan Thee Stallion and injuring her feet after a pool party in the Hollywood Hills in July 2020.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford handed down the sentence on Tuesday to the 31-year-old Lanez, who was convicted on three felonies: assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Herriford said it was “difficult to reconcile” the kind, charitable person and good father many people described Lanez as being during the sentencing hearing with the person who fired the gun at Megan Thee Stallion.
“Sometimes good people do bad things,” Herriford said.
“Actions have consequences and there are no winners in this case.”
Megan Thee Stallion testified that Lanez fired the gun at the back of her feet and shouted for her to dance as she walked away from an SUV in which they had been riding in July 2020, after leaving a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood Hills home.
She had to have surgery to remove bullet fragments.
“Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace,” Megan Thee Stallion said in a statement read by a prosecutor on Monday.
“Slowly but surely, I’m healing and coming back, but I will never be the same,” she said.
The sentence brings an end to a dramatic trial that created a cultural firestorm in the hip-hop community, churning up issues including the reluctance of Black victims to speak to police, gender politics in hip-hop, online toxicity, protecting Black women and the ramifications of misogynoir – a particular brand of misogyny Black women experience.
Lanez asked Herriford for mercy just before the judge delivered his sentence. Lanez requested either probation or a minimal prison sentence.
“If I could turn back the series of events that night and change them”, I would, Lanez said. “The victim was my friend. The victim is someone I still care for to this day.”
He added: “Everything I did wrong that night, I take full responsibility for.”
Lanez appeared stunned while the sentence was read but had no audible reaction. His family and fans in the courtroom also remained quiet after the sentence.
The rapper was given about 10 months of credit for the time he has served since his conviction in December.
“We’re extremely disappointed,” Lanez’s lead lawyer Jose Baez said outside the court.
“I have seen vehicular homicide and other cases where there’s death and the defendant still gets less than 10 years.”
Baez said the sentence was “really just another example of someone being punished for their celebrity status and someone being utilised to set an example. And he’s not an example. He’s a human being”.
The shooting was preceded by an argument that became heated when the two began attacking each other’s music careers, Megan Thee Stallion said during the two-week trial.
She did not attend the sentencing hearing, saying she could not bear to be in the same room as Lanez but wrote a statement that was read in court on Monday, the New York Times reported.
“He not only shot me, he made a mockery of my trauma,” the statement said. “This is a statement for all survivors that their lives matter and there is zero tolerance for the torture that accompanies violence.”
Megan Thee Stallion won Grammy awards for best new artist, best rap performance and best rap song in 2021.