LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion would never have faced the flood of abuse she inflicted if she hadn’t told the truth that rapper Tory Lanez shot her in the feet. and injured him in the summer of 2020.
Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott said the jury must have faith in Megan’s suffering and the courage to fight it, which was evident in her testimony last week. Jurors must also do justice to Megan by convicting Lanez, he said, referring to the humiliations she has received on the internet and in parts of the hip-hop community.
“Why would you lie?” Los Angeles County DA said. “He was subjected to a stream of hate. For what? Is it because you came forward as a victim of domestic violence?”
In its own close, Lanez’s defense attorney, George Mgdesyan, gave jurors what he called an extremely good reason for Megan to lie: being victimized by Lanez was embarrassing, potentially career-damaging, indeed that she was shot by her best friend. it was a better public story. – Not Lanez – in a jealous argument about him.
“Megan Pete is a liar. Magdesyan lied about everything in this case from the beginning,” she said. “She lied here under oath.”
He said that Lanez struggled with Megan’s old friend Kelsey Harris to keep her from firing, and a pause heard in an audio recording amid the five shots fired on the night of July 12, 2020, is testament to this.
“He was trying to protect her,” said Mgdesyan.
Mgdesyan ridiculed Megan’s experiences in the years that followed.
“It was very bad for him,” she said. “He won a Grammy. It hit number one on the Billboard charts.
“You know who it’s been bad for? That guy over there,” said Mgdesyan, pointing at Lanez. “He couldn’t work. He had to go through this with his family for 2 1/2 years.
Canadian rapper Lanez, 30, legal name Daystar Peterson, pleaded not guilty to firing a firearm in gross negligence, assaulting with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unlicensed firearm in a vehicle. Counts can lead to up to 22 years in prison and deportation.
Bott said Megan’s testimony in itself was sufficient for conviction, but was supported by other evidence, including testimonies from other eyewitnesses and Lanez’s apologies.
Megan said she left a meeting at Kylie Jenner’s home in Hollywood Hills in an SUV with Lanez, her bodyguard, and Harris. Megan and Harris have since distanced themselves from each other.
He said an argument broke out that led to Lanez insulting his music and particularly angered him. As She started to move away from the jeep, she said that he shot her in the feet and said, “dance b――!” she stated she cried.
Megan had to have surgery to remove the bullet fragments.
When Harris took the stand, he said he didn’t remember seeing Lanez fire the gun, and said he assumed he did when he sent a text just minutes later to a man working as security for Megan saying, “Tory shot Megan.” He denied firing the gun himself.
However, prosecutors were later allowed to play an interview with them that Harris had in September, in which he openly identified Lanez as the hitman.
In an email to the Associated Press, Harris’ attorney, Daniel Nardoni, did not comment on his role, saying he urged him to exercise his 5th Amendment rights on the stand, despite partial immunity granted by prosecutors.
Mgdesyan asked one of the jurors to consider the possibility of violence resulting from insulting his music or from an argument between two women over a man.
“What is more likely to be shot?” said.
He told jurors that although he had a defense witness who saw the stopped SUV from his nearby balcony and said he saw the two women in the car fighting violently, it was clear that Megan was lying as she denied having any significant disagreements with Harris. Witness Sean Kelly said he saw a muzzle flash from a woman while shooting.
But prosecutors also used testimony from the man who said he saw a little man “shooting everywhere”.
Mgdesyan said Megan had changed over time to walk in front of the SUV rather than behind it, thus fitting Lanez’s description of shooting her over the open car door. “Dance b――!” He said he invented it. A line that no one else has witnessed heard to explain why he looked over his shoulder to see that he had set the fire.
The lawyer used the photo to make a joke about his client’s height.
“He’s 1.60 tall, I don’t even know if he can run over a car to shoot!” Mgdesyan said with laughter as Lanez was watching from the defense table in a blue suit and black turtleneck.
Earlier in the day, Mgdesyan told the judge that Lanez would not testify. The defense is set to wrap up on Thursday as the jury considers the case after the prosecution’s rebuttal.
Bott concluded Wednesday’s presentation with a quote from Megan’s statement that she said there were times when she said, “I wish he had shot me and killed me.”
“Megan is important,” Bott said. “This case is important. Hold her responsible for shooting Megan because of a wounded ego.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton