Tory Lanez Files Motion For New Trial, Citing Procedural Errors

Tory Lanez Files Motion For New Trial, Lawyers Say Prosecutors Painted Tory As ‘A Gun-Wielding Career Criminal’


Tory Lanez intends to fight for his freedom following a guilty verdict for three charges in December, including the July 2020 shooting of Megan The Stallion. On Wednesday (March 29), Tory’s legal team reportedly filed a motion for a new trial, citing several procedural errors.

On December 23, a Los Angeles jury found Tory guilty of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. He faces up to 22 years in prison and deportation. Less than three weeks after his conviction, Lanez–legal name Daystar Peterson–hired David Kenner to replace his trial lawyer George Mgdesyan.

RELATED: Tory Lanez’s New Attorney Wishes Rapper Had Reached Out Prior To Unsuccessful Trial, But Remains Confident In Winning Appeal

Kenner, who successfully represented Snoop Dogg during a murder trial in the 90s, secured a delay in sentencing for Tory in early January. As a result, sentencing was moved from January to April to allow Tory’s legal team time to review trial transcripts and prepare their motion.

However, his latest defense team consists of Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma. According to Rolling Stone, Lanez dropped Kenner from his defense due to a “scheduling conflict.” The rapper thanked Kenner for “his hard work and wise counsel.” Baez is reportedly the first chair and Barhoma second chair in the new appeal.


Tory Lanez's Former Instagram Manager Takes Blame For Using Tory's Account To Deny Kelsey Harris Was The Shooter

Tory’s attorneys in the trial primarily built their defense on Megan’s former best friend, Kelsey Harris, being the shooter. However, prosecutors threw a wrench in that assertion when an Instagram post was circulated among the jury that showed Tory Lanez’s Instagram account replying to a comment on The Shade Room‘s account. The September 2020 comment said, “people saying Kelsey shot her,” and Tory’s account responded, “that’s not true.”

In the filing obtained and reported by Rolling Stone, Tory’s defense claims the judge “erroneously allowed” the jurors to see the post. Furthermore, they allege prosecutors ambushed the defense with the post without giving them enough time to determine if Lanez was the person who wrote the reply.

Baez and Barhoma argue that the post comes across as an admission despite their defense claims against Kelsey–which both she and Megan denied during their trial testimony.

According to Rolling Stone, Lanez’s lawyers included a declaration from the rapper’s content creator, Joshua Farias, in the filing. Farias claims he wrote, “that’s not true” on TSR’s account while serving as Tory’s Instagram manager at the time.

“The court erred on numerous questions of law in allowing the People to introduce this post, depriving defendant of a fair trial,” the motion says, per Rolling Stone. “The only acceptable remedy for this miscarriage of justice is a new trial.”


New Motion Claims Prosecutors Presented Tory Lanez As 'A Gun-Wielding Career Criminal'

The new motion also claims prosecutors created a biased view of Tory using additional social media content. For example, prosecutors reportedly submitted a shirtless photo of Lanez to the court, citing identification reasons.

But, Baez and Barhoma claim prosecutors “revealed their true motive” when they asked a witness in December about seeing “the big gun that Tory has tattooed at the center of his chest.”

As a result, Tory’s legal team believes prosecutors “painted [Lanez] as a gun-wielding career criminal” by referencing his tattoos and music lyrics. Baez and Barhoma are relying on a new California law, AB 2799, to argue the prosecution’s references “deprived” Tory of “due process safeguards.”

Additionally, the legal team claims the evidence led to an “improper” assertion that Tory had an inclination for criminal acts based on his “gangster rapper persona.” The new law, which took effect nine days after the conviction, excludes “creative expression” evidence that could suggest racial basis.

“Ironically, the defendant’s tattoo was an homage to Tupac Shakur. Mr. Shakur used his music and tattoos to discuss socio-political issues affecting the Black community in the nineties. Mr. Shakur carried the same AK-47 tattoo on his chest as a symbol of Black unity and the fight against racism,” the filing reportedly states.


Motion Also Argues Court 'Impermissibly Chilled' Tory Lanez's Right To Testify

In addition to prosecutors allegedly painting Tory as a career criminal, his lawyers say the court deprived him of his right to testify. How so?

The motion reportedly points to a trial ruling that would’ve allowed prosecutors to introduce Tory’s rap lyrics and the music video for his 2022 track Cap as evidence if he chose to testify. The video begins with Tory Lanez in a butcher shop setting, slicing what appears to be a horse leg, which fans took as a reference to Megan Thee Stallion during its March release.

Additionally, had Lanez chosen to testify, impeachment evidence would’ve included his physical altercation with August Alsina in October 2022 and previous “lies” about his height, per Rolling Stone. 

Two days before a jury convicted him on all charges, Tory declined to testify. Additionally, that same day, it was revealed the driver on the night of the shooting, Jaquan Smith, would not testify.

Despite California’s AB 2799 not being in effect yet, Tory’s defense argues it still applies. The governor approved the legislature, and the Secretary of State chaptered it in September.

Lanez later came to regret his decision not to testify, according to a Rolling Stone source. Lanez was dissuaded by his former attorney George Mgdesyan.


Meanwhile, Carl Crawford Shows Support For Megan Thee Stallion Ahead Of Houston Performance

Carl Crawford, CEO of Megan’s label 1501 Certified Entertainment, recently published a letter of support for Megan Thee Stallion ahead of her performance in Houston on Friday. The letter is layered with compliments and praise for the rapper, despite Crawford’s history of heated online and court disputes with Megan.

“If you think you saw Meg perform before, think again! Wait till you see her tear down the stage on Friday as she’s gearing up for this new ALBUM, new WORLD TOUR, and new MOTION! We look forward to continuing to support our 1501 artist, Megan Thee Stallion, in all her future endeavors. The 1501 staff is dedicated to a successful launch of this new project! We would like all of our 1501 supporters to join us in fully welcoming Megan Thee Stallion back home,” Carl’s letter said.

The letter comes weeks after Crawford apologized to Megan for the “unfortunate” years-long feuding on social media. In the TMZ interview, Crawford admitted he hasn’t spoken to Megan since 2019–besides the online disputes. He also announced that the label was rebranding because the ongoing beef impacted its reputation–likely the reason behind the razzle-dazzled letter of support.

Megan hasn’t publicly responded to Carl’s apology or this week’s letter. However, days after Tory’s guilty verdict, a judge ruled Megan’s 2021 project Something For The Hotties counts as an album, thus meaning she fulfilled her contract with 1501 Entertainment and her $1 million lawsuit against the label can go to trial.

Earlier this month, Megan popped out for the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, marking her first reported public appearance since Tory’s conviction.

At this time, she has not publicly reacted to Tory Lanez’s appeal.


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