Tory Lanez won’t take the stand during criminal trial, closing arguments begin

Daystar “Tory Lanez” Peterson’s driver also elected not to testify in the Canadian rapper-singer’s trial for allegedly shooting Megan Thee Stallion.

Daystar “Tory Lanez” Peterson elected not to take the stand Wednesday in his criminal trial for the alleged shooting of rapper Megan “Megan Thee Stallion” Pete, so the prosecution and defense both commenced with their closing arguments.

Peterson told Judge David V. Herriford “I will not testify,” according to Billboard. The Canadian rapper-singer’s driver, Jaquan Smith, also elected not to face jurors hearing the case. Smith reportedly was driving the vehicle in which Peterson, Pete and the latter’s then-assistant, Kelsey Harris, were riding before the alleged incident on July 12, 2020, in which Peterson is accused of shooting Pete in the foot.

Earlier this week, Smith was identified as being present during the incident via the testimony of a California man, Sean Kelly, who said he witnessed the scene from his window. Kelly referred to a male figure as a “smaller gentleman” who began “firing everywhere” and said he saw a muzzle flash near a woman. Peterson — who is 5-foot-3 — was identified as the smaller gentleman while Smith was identified as the taller individual.

Daystar “Tory Lanez” Peterson returns to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles for his trial last week. Peterson won’t be testifying in his own defense in his felony assault trial for allegedly shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion in the foot. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Peterson’s lawyer, George Mgdesyan, told Billboard that he hoped Smith would have taken the stand, but he didn’t due to procedural wrangling and the potential of a delay that might have made the jury return after Christmas.

With neither of the men testifying Wednesday, closing arguments began for both the prosecution and the defense. Deputy District Attorney Alexander Bott started things off, reminding the jury about Pete’s emotional testimony the previous week.

“It was hard for Megan to testify at trial,” Bott said. “This is what she said: ‘I’m having a really difficult time sitting up here and comfortably tell my story — because not only do I have to sit next to a group of people who have been continuously spreading misinformation, making me look like a bad person, I have to sit across from Tory, and it’s really hard and I like to present like I’m strong, but I’m really trying. I don’t like to look weak.’”

The prosecutor also mentioned the public backlash Pete has been experiencing as a result of her accusations against Peterson. “Look what coming forward has done to her life,” Bott continued. “Look what it’s done to her life, her career, her reputation.”

Mgdesyan began the closing arguments for the defense, telling the jurors that the shooter was likely Harris, Pete’s former friend, not his client.

During her testimony, Harris backtracked on statements she made in September regarding details of the shooting. Mgdesyan also argued that Pete is a liar, reminding the jury that she initially told police she wasn’t shot when they arrived at the scene, only to change her story later.

Pete later explained that she feared Peterson would be subjected to police brutality, saying that was the reason she initially told law enforcement that she hadn’t been shot. Doctors confirmed that bullet fragments were in fact in her foot, according to Page Six.

Closing arguments will continue on Thursday.

Peterson is charged with three felony counts of discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic handgun and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 22 years imprisonment. 

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