Jurors deciding whether Tory Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion

Dec 21, 2022, 10:27 PM | Updated: Dec 23, 2022, 3:57 am
Daystar Peterson, the rap artist known as Tory Lanez, 30, sits in the passenger seat of a sport car...

Daystar Peterson, the rap artist known as Tory Lanez, 30, sits in the passenger seat of a sport car as he's driven away from the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. Lanez is free on bail after being charged with felony assault for allegedly shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion in the feet. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

              Rapper Tory Lanez, 30, walks out of the courthouse while holding his 5-year-old son Kai'Lon, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. Megan Thee Stallion took the stand Tuesday and told jurors that Lanez fired five shots at her feet, yelled at her to dance and wounded her as she tried to walk away from him in the Hollywood Hills more than two years ago. The Canadian rapper has pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Rapper Tory Lanez, 30, walks out of the courthouse while holding his 5-year-old son Kai'Lon, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. Megan Thee Stallion took the stand Tuesday and told jurors that Lanez fired five shots at her feet, yelled at her to dance and wounded her as she tried to walk away from him in the Hollywood Hills more than two years ago. The Canadian rapper has pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Rapper Tory Lanez, 30, walks out of the courthouse while holding his 5-year-old son Kai'Lon, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. Megan Thee Stallion took the stand Tuesday and told jurors that Lanez fired five shots at her feet, yelled at her to dance and wounded her as she tried to walk away from him in the Hollywood Hills more than two years ago. The Canadian rapper has pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Rapper Tory Lanez, 30, places his his 5-year-old son Kai'Lon into the back of sports car after walking out of the courthouse, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. Megan Thee Stallion took the stand Tuesday and told jurors that Lanez fired five shots at her feet, yelled at her to dance and wounded her as she tried to walk away from him in the Hollywood Hills more than two years ago. The Canadian rapper has pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Singer Tory Lanez returns to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center for his trial Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles. Lanez is free on bail after being charged with felony assault for allegedly shooting rapper Megan Thee Stallion in the feet. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              FILE - Megan Thee Stallion arrives at the Billboard Music Awards on May 15, 2022, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Megan took the stand Tuesday, Dec. 13  in a Los Angeles courtroom in the trial of Tory Lanez, accusing the Canadian rapper of firing multiple gunshots at her feet as she tried to walk away from him in the Hollywood Hills more than two years ago. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors began deliberations Thursday at the trial of rapper Tory Lanez, who is charged with shooting and wounding hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in the feet.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for just over three hours after hearing the last part of the defense’s closing argument that began a day earlier and a brief rebuttal from Los Angeles County prosecutors.

They did not reach a verdict and will return Friday to resume talks on the three felony counts brought against the 30-year-old Canadian rapper: discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. The counts could lead to up to 22 years in prison and deportation for Lanez, who has pleaded not guilty.

Megan Thee Stallion, 27, whose legal name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez fired a handgun at the back of her feet and shouted for her to dance as she walked away from an SUV in which they had been riding in the Hollywood Hills in the summer of 2020. She needed surgery to remove bullet fragments from her feet.

In closing arguments, prosecutors emphasized the courage it took for her to come forward and the vitriol she has faced for it. They said she had no incentive to tell anything but the truth.

Lanez’s lawyer alleged in his closing that the shots were actually fired by Megan’s then-best-friend Kelsey Harris in a jealous fight over Lanez, who tried to stop the shooting. The attorney, George Mgdesyan, alleges Megan created a more sympathetic narrative by pinning the shooting on Lanez.

Harris denied being the shooter and previously identified Lanez as the one holding the gun. Her attorney, in an email, declined to comment on her involvement.

The jury on Thursday asked for a read-back of the testimony of the only eyewitness to the shooting who was not directly involved, a man on a nearby balcony who was with his children at the time and said his concerns for their safety kept him from watching closely.

Sean Kelly was called by the defense, but both sides argued his account favored them. He said he saw muzzle flashes that appeared to come from a woman, but also said he saw a small man “firing everywhere.”

Lanez — whose legal name is Daystar Peterson — began releasing mixtapes in 2009 and saw a steady rise in popularity, moving on to major-label albums. His last two reached the top 10 on Billboard’s charts.

Megan Thee Stallion was already a major rising star at the time of the shooting, and her prominence has surged since. She won a Grammy for best new artist in 2021, and had No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with her own song “Savage,” featuring Beyoncé, and as a guest on Cardi B’s “WAP.”

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Jurors deciding whether Tory Lanez shot Megan Thee Stallion