Just days before a trial is set to kick off in Los Angeles over whether Tory Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion, prosecutors are adding a third felony count to the charges against the R&B singer.
With jury selection for the trial already underway this week, the L.A. district attorney’s office on Monday (Dec. 5) added a new count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence. Lanez (real name Daystar Peterson) was already facing one count of assault with a firearm and another gun possession charge.
Lanez was already facing 22 years in prison over the original charges. It’s unclear if that maximum sentence would be larger if Lanez is convicted on all three counts, but the new charge by itself could still carry a years-long sentence and gives prosecutors another avenue to win a conviction if the more serious charges don’t stick.
George Mgdesyan, Lanez’s lead attorney in the case, did not immediately return a request for comment on the new charge. Beyond confirming the new count, prosecutors declined to comment, including on why the new charge was filed.
Lanez was charged in October 2020 over the July 2020 incident, in which he allegedly shot Stallion in the foot during an argument after a pool party in the Hollywood Hills. Stallion had initially told police officers that she cut her foot stepping on broken glass, but days later revealed that she had suffered a gunshot wound. After media outlets reported that Lanez had fired the gun, Stallion directly accused him in an August 2020 Instagram video.
Lanez pleaded not guilty in November 2020. At a December 2021 hearing, a Los Angeles judge allowed the case to move forward to a trial. During that hearing, a police detective testified that Stallion had told him that Lanez yelled “Dance, bitch!” as he opened fire around her feet, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jury selection kicked off on Monday and opening statements are set for Dec. 12, with a verdict expected by Christmas. Stallion herself is expected to testify at some point during the trial; it’s unclear whether Lanez will take the stand himself.
For the past few months, Lanez had been under house arrest after an incident in September during which he allegedly assaulted singer August Alsina in Chicago. But on Monday, over protests from prosecutors, Judge David Herriford released him so that he could better prepare with attorneys for the trial.
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