A bodyguard for Megan Thee Stallion is purportedly missing amid Torey Lanez’s felony assault trial in Los Angeles after he provided a witness statement implicating the rapper.
“He was set to testify. He’s somebody who’s always plugged-in, on the grid, responsive, and as he’s set to testify in a violent crimes case, he goes missing,” Megan’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, tells Rolling Stone.
In his opening statement Monday, Deputy District Attorney Alexander Bott told jurors that the bodyguard, Justin Edison, was expected to take the stand and say he visited Lanez’s house on July 13, 2020 and heard Lanez confess to being the triggerman in a shooting a day earlier that wounded Megan in both feet.
A source tells Rolling Stone that Edison gave a prior witness statement in the high-profile case stating that Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, walked up to him at the house and personally apologized for what Lanez described as an alcohol-fueled accident.
Edison — who was not present when the gunfire erupted, but who received the panicked text from Megan’s former friend Kelsey Harris stating, “Help/Tory shot meg/911” — made it clear Lanez was apologizing for firing a weapon, not just contributing to a fight that preceded the shooting, the source says.
Edison told authorities that Peterson recalled being incredibly drunk and firing multiple shots at the ground before Megan collapsed, the source says.
Edison and his lawyer did not respond Saturday to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment on his whereabouts or his prior statement to authorities. Attempts to reach Lanez’s defense lawyer were not immediately successful.
Late on Friday, Bott asked Judge David Herriford to release the “body attachment” (a type of warrant) for Edison. An LAPD spokeswoman said Saturday she had no information about a missing person’s investigation related to Edison.
Peterson is battling three felony charges in the high-profile case alleging he shot Megan in both feet during a drunken assault on a residential street in the Hollywood Hills shortly after 4 a.m. on July 12, 2020.
He has pleaded not guilty to assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury, concealing a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and the recently added count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
If convicted as charged, the Alone at Prom rapper is facing the possibility of 22 years and eight months in prison and subsequent deportation since he’s a citizen of Canada.
Megan, whose full name is Megan Pete, gave harrowing testimony on the witness stand Tuesday, saying the shooting left her with lasting physical and emotional injuries.
She vividly recalled turning to see Peterson holding a gun and pointing it at her as he allegedly shouted “Dance Bitch” and the shots rang out.
Harris also took the witness stand for two days of tortured testimony during which she disavowed key elements of a detailed statement she gave to prosecutors in September. Harris confirmed she heard the gunshots but recanted her September claim that she watched Peterson fire the semiautomatic 9mm handgun five times over the open door of his Cadillac Escalade.
When Peterson’s defense lawyer, George Mgdesyan, grilled Harris about her September statement under cross-examination, he asked if she was under the “impression” that if she told prosecutors what they “wanted to hear,” she could be “done with this case.”
Bott later argued to the judge that Mgdesyan’s question impugned the “integrity” of the D.A.’s office, and he asked the court to allow the entire recorded September interview to be played for the jury. The judge granted the request, and jurors heard the 88-minute audio interview on Friday.