Tory Lanez’s request for a new trial was denied on Tuesday, according to City News Service, and the rapper now waits for a sentencing after being found guilty in December of shooting Megan Thee Stallion.
Lanez — whose legal name is Daystar Peterson — and his legal team had indicated for several months after the guilty verdict that he would be filing for a new trial, officially filing the motion on March 29th, as Rolling Stone reported. The hearing for the new trial motion had been punted multiple times before finally getting underway in Los Angeles on Monday, with judge David Herriford issuing the ruling on Tuesday. The court hasn’t issued a sentencing date for Peterson yet.
As Los Angeles Times reporter James Queally tweeted, during the hearing on Tuesday, Peterson’s legal team took an aggressive step and motioned to disqualify Herriford from the case, though Herriford still issued his ruling against the retrial.
In Peterson’s motion for a new trial, his attorneys Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma said that the judge “erroneously allowed” for jurors to view an Instagram comment from Lanez’s personal account that refuted claims that Megan’s former friend Kelsey Harris was the shooter. The filing also included a declaration from Joshua Farias, an associate of Peterson’s, who claimed he was the one who posted the comment.
“The court erred on numerous questions of law in allowing the People to introduce this post, depriving defendant of a fair trial,” the motion said. “The only acceptable remedy for this miscarriage of justice is a new trial.”
Prosecutors responded to that motion, as reporter Meghann Cuniff first reported, calling for the court to dismiss the request and stating that Peterson “failed to demonstrate any error by the trial court in support of its motion for a new trial.”
Motioning for a new trial isn’t unheard of in high-profile cases, though those requests aren’t often successful; Harvey Weinstein requested a new trial in January following his rape conviction in Los Angeles, but that request was denied and he was sentenced to 16 more years in prison.
Peterson himself was purportedly dissatisfied with some of the trial’s developments, with a source previously telling Rolling Stone in January that he regretted not testifying during the trial, and that he felt misled by his attorney not to testify. Peterson was convicted on all three charges on Dec. 23, and he faces up to 22 years in prison when he is sentenced.
This is a developing story…