Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Megan Thee Stallion Shooting Trial

What will a jury make of the two, largely contrasting testimonies from Kelsey Harris? Two possibilities seem likely, as laid out by James Queally in the Los Angeles Times. First, they could believe that the September interview represents the real version of events and, for whatever reason, the Kelsey that showed up on the stand should be paid less attention. That interpretation would favor prosecutors. But there’s also the possibility that the dueling versions of Kelsey Harris could convince at least some jurors that there’s reasonable doubt whether Tory was the gunman, leading to a mistrial or acquittal. 

“Who I’m Takin’ Shots At?”

The use of rap lyrics in criminal trials has been a hot issue recently., and this case is no different. However, it isn’t one of Megan’s or Tory’s songs that have been dissected in the courtroom.

Instead, Harris was on the hot seat with her song “Bussin Back,” a diss track aimed at Megan. Mgdesyan, in a nod to his Harris-as-shooter theory, asked investigator Megan Little, who conducted the aforementioned September interview with Harris, about the lyrics, “Who I’m taking shots at? / Bitch, I’m busting you.” Ta, for her part, pointed out another lyric from the same track: “Who shot ya? / ‘Cause you know it wasn’t me.” 

The Missing Bodyguard

Megan’s former bodyguard Justin Edison was scheduled to testify, but instead was a no-show. It turns out he was working at the World Cup in Qatar, and it does not appear that he will be back in the U.S. in time for the trial. Edison was a key witness for the prosecution, having said in an earlier witness statement that he visited Lanez at his house the day after the shooting, where Lanez personally apologized for the incident and admitted to firing multiple shots. 

“He Was, Like I Said, Shooting”

In his opening statement, Mgdesyan promised to unveil a witness who saw a woman, as opposed to a man, fire the gun—backing up his theory that Harris was the real shooter. But when that witness, a Hollywood Hills resident named Sean Kelly, actually showed up, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

In some ways, Kelly did tell the touted story. He claimed to see two women fighting (“They were pulling their hair and hitting each other. It was quite violent”), and said that he saw a flash originating from one of them. “I believe the girl fired the first shot,” he said clearly.

But then his story went off the rails, and his account of what transpired after the initial muzzle flash was not what Mgdesyan appears to have expected. 

“Sir, did you see the shorter guy with a gun in his hand?” Mgdesyan asked, meaning Lanez. “Yes,” Kelly responded. He said that the man was “firing everywhere.”

Bott swooped in on this point. “How many shots did you see the short guy shoot when you said, ‘he was firing everywhere?’” he asked. “Four or five,” Kelly replied. 

Kelly also laid out a story that matched neither Mgdesyan’s nor the prosecution’s tale, laying out a scenario in which three people were fighting with a fourth. Although there were four people in the car, no other person on either side has accused Lanez’s security guard, Jauquan Smith, of being involved in the fight.


Some other noteworthy points:

  • Prosecutors attempted to add a fourth charge, of witness tampering. This was based on Lanez’s alleged million-dollar bribe attempts. However, the judge said it was too late.
  • Conspiratorially-minded observers have noted that Harris’s husband Darien “Dboy” Smith is, self-proclaimedly, “one of the main go-to guys” for 1501 Certified Entertainment, Megan’s former record label with which she has been locked in a long-running legal battle.  
  • As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Tory Lanez will testify. If he does, he will be open to cross-examination and it appears that he may have to answer for his “Cap” video, where he is seen butchering what appear to be horse feet—something many observers take to be a diss of Megan and a reference to the shooting.

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