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Tory Lanez Won’t Testify In Megan Thee Stallion Shooting Trial

todayDecember 21, 2022

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Tory Lanez said Wednesday (Dec. 21) that he will not take the witness stand in his own defense in the trial over whether he shot Megan Thee Stallion in the foot, signaling the end of testimony in the week-long trial and setting the stage for jurors to begin deliberating on a verdict.

Putting a defendant on the stand to be cross-examined by prosecutors is a big gamble in any criminal case, and Lanez’s attorneys opted not to do so — resting their case without giving Lanez a chance to personally persuade jurors that he didn’t pull the trigger the night Megan was shot.

“I will not testify,” said Lanez, sitting beside his father, to Judge David V. Herriford.

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During Wednesday morning’s proceedings, it was also revealed that Jaquan Smith, Lanez’s driver who was present the night of Megan’s shooting, would similarly not be testifying. Smith, who could have provided eye-witness testimony to the incident, had been present at the courthouse earlier in the day.

With no testimony from Lanez or Smith, both the prosecution and the defense will proceed to make their closing arguments later in the day on Wednesday. After that, the case will be submitted to the jury, with a verdict expected as early as Wednesday evening.

Lanez stands accused of three felony counts over the July 12, 2020 incident, during which prosecutors say he yelled “Dance, b—-” and shot at Megan’s feet, striking her at least once. If convicted on all three counts, he faces up to 22 years in prison. His lawyers have steadfastly maintained his innocence, suggesting throughout the trial that the trigger might instead have been pulled by Kelsey Harris, Megan’s former friend and assistant who was also in the vehicle that night.

Kicking off Dec. 12, the trial has seen gripping testimony from Megan herself, who recounted the alleged shooting, pinned the blame on Lanez and said, “I wish he had just shot and killed me.” Harris — expected to be a star witness for the prosecution — also took the stand, but she largely failed to re-affirm previous statements pinning the blame on Lanez. Then on Friday (Dec. 16), prosecutors played recordings of Harris’ earlier statements, in which she clearly stated that Lanez had shot the Grammy-winning rapper and then tried to buy both women’s silence with million-dollar bribes.

Back in court this week, jurors heard confusing and contradictory testimony from Sean Kelly, a man who allegedly saw the entire incident from his nearby home. Expected to be a key witness for Lanez’s defense team, Kelly told jurors that he saw Harris violently grappling with Megan outside the vehicle, but that he also saw a man matching Tory Lanez’s description holding a gun. Bizarrely, he then later said he never actually saw a gun at all.

Smith, the driver of the vehicle, could have provided additional perspective as the only other person present during the incident — and the only one who has never been suggested to have been involved in the shooting. But like Lanez, he was never placed on the witness stand on Wednesday.

Speaking to Billboard during the recess, Lanez attorney George Mgdesyan said he’d wanted Smith to testify, but that procedural wrangling and the possibility of a delay that could have forced jurors to return after Christmas prevented him from taking the stand.

This is a developing story and will be updated later on Wednesday with more information from the afternoon’s proceedings.

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todayDecember 21, 2022

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