Tory Lanez was in a California courtroom Thursday, where he denied that he’s the source of an alleged evidence “leak” in his felony assault case.
The Say It rapper, born Daystar Peterson, has pleaded not guilty to charges he shot Megan Thee Stallion in both feet during a terrifying tirade two years ago. He listened quietly as a prosecutor suggested that he had something to do sealed discovery making its way to the Internet shortly after Megan (born Megan Pete) recounted the shooting incident to CBS News’ Gayle King in an emotional sit-down interview that aired on April 25.
“Since the last court date, it was apparent there were some leaks of part of the discovery to media or members of the public,” Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta told the judge, adding that she was still “trying to ascertain” the source of the alleged leaks.
“My concern is the way the leaks are being disseminated and extrapolated in certain ways to mislead the state of the evidence,” she said. “I do have concerns about invested members of the public trying to subvert the fair administration of justice.”
Lanez’s lawyer, Shawn Holley, told the court she was confident the alleged leaks did not come from her “watermarked” discovery. She added that Lanez himself had “refused to accept” his own watermarked copies “out of concern there might be some suggestion that he had something to do with leaking.”
“I’m certain that whatever exists that is out there won’t have my name on it or Mr. Peterson’s name on it,” Holley said.
The high-powered defense lawyer then complained about Megan speaking to CBS, suggesting the interview ignited more interest in the case while her client is under a protective order that bars him from doing the same.
“Seventeen days after we were last here, Ms. Pete, the accuser in this case, went on Gayle King on CBS This Morning – which is far beyond ‘Black Twitter’ – and discussed exclusively the allegations in this case. So she upped the ante,” Holley said. “I received numerous emails from the producers of that show asking Mr. Peterson to come on and give his side of the story.”
After letting both sides make their remarks, Judge David Herriford ordered Lanez back for a follow-up hearing on July 28. He said Lanez’s trial is still set to begin Sept. 14, or within 10 days of that date.
Ta didn’t elaborate on the exact evidence she was referring to Thursday, but she had just emerged from a closed-door meeting with the judge and Holley before making her statements in open court.
Two weeks after Megan’s CBS interview aired, portions of a sealed police report from the July 12, 2020, shooting incident were published by YouTube blogger Feddit1811. The highly preliminary report was authored by LAPD’s Sandra Cabral, one of the officers who responded to the scene of the alleged shooting. Social media users made a big deal of a line in the report that read, “Dr. Loffredo confirmed laceration due to stepping on glass.” Supporters of Lanez claimed it proved Megan wasn’t shot, even though medical records show she was.
At Lanez’s preliminary hearing in December, Officer Cabral testified that Megan was “frantic” when officers responded to the call of shots fired and that four “spent” 9mm casings were found at the scene of the alleged shooting. Cabral also said an olive green semiautomatic handgun was found “warm to the touch” on the front passenger seat floorboard.
LAPD Det. Ryan Stogner took the witness stand after Officer Cabral and testified that a doctor who treated Megan at Cedars-Sinai reported that she was shot in both feet. “He told me that he had to surgically remove what he described as bullet fragments from Megan’s left and right feet. When that surgery was conducted, he used stitches to suture the wounds,” he said, confirming “there were bullet fragments that he was unable to remove from Megan’s foot that remains in her foot to this day.”
Det. Stogner said he was assigned to the case two days after the shooting and interviewed Megan over the phone on July 16, 2020, and then again on Nov. 12, 2020. He publicly revealed for the first time at the probable cause hearing that Megan reported hearing Lanez say, ‘Dance, bitch!’ as he allegedly opened fire. Stogner said Megan initially told police she stepped on glass because she was scared.
During her CBS interview, Megan said she was worried about how responding officers might react if they knew a firearm was in the vehicle. “I was lying to protect all of us,” she told King.