After being found guilty for the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion back in July 2020, Tory Lanez has filed a motion for a new trial.
According to paperwork filed by the rapper’s lawyers, Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma, yesterday (March 29), seen and reported on by Rolling Stone, the motion cites multiple grounds for a retrial, among them claiming the judge in the trial, which wrapped last December, barred a fair trial by “erroneously” allowing jurors to view a social media post.
The Instagram post in question was posted from Lanez’ personal account in September 2020 in which it was alleged that Megan’s now-estranged friend Kelsey Harris was not the shooter.
As part of the retrial motion, a new declaration is included from Lanez’ content creator, Joshua Farias, stating that he was managing Lanez’ IG at that point and was the one who replied, “that’s not true” to a comment on The Shade Room’s account stating: “People saying Kelsey shot her.”
Alleging that prosecutors surprised them with the Instagram post mid-trial, Lanez’ lawyers claim the defense didn’t have sufficient time to say who wrote the reply, and essentially amounted to an apparent admission that Kelsey didn’t fire the gun despite the entire defense argument insisting it was, in fact, she who fired the shots that wounded Stallion. An allegation that both Kelsey and Megan denied throughout trial testimony.
“The court erred on numerous questions of law in allowing the People to introduce this post, depriving defendant of a fair trial,” the new motion reads. “The only acceptable remedy for this miscarriage of justice is a new trial.”
At the conclusion of December’s trial, Tory was convicted of all three charges against him and is currently facing up to 22-years in prison to be determined at sentencing.
At an early January hearing, Tory’s legal team at the time lobbied for the judge to delay any sentencing until April in order to review trial transcripts and prepare a motion. Within this new motion Tory’s lawyers also claim that prosecutors unfairly “painted defendant as a gun-wielding career criminal” and alleged that prosecutors “revealed their true motive” for introducing a shirtless photo of Lanez while asking a witness if he had seen “the big gun that Tory has tattooed at the centre of his chest”.
His lawyers go on to argue that trial references to his tattoo and music “deprived” him of the “due process safeguards” in a new California law that seeks to exclude “creative expression” evidence that might lead to racial bias.
As reported by RS, prosecutors are expected to file a reply to the new motion ahead of a planned hearing on the matter that’s now booked for April 10, the same date Tory’s sentencing is currently scheduled for.
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