Tory Lanez is certainly not going down without a fight to the very end in his Megan Thee Stallion assault case.
The embattled Canadian singer has hired two new lawyers who have filed a motion for a new trial on multiple grounds that claim the judge erred by allowing jurors to view the evidence in the form of an Instagram account and that the rapper did not get to take the stand to give testimony because of the threat of impeaching evidence by the prosecution and he didn’t have a fair trial.
Tory Lanez’s case made headlines after he hired high-powered attorney David Kenner who previously represented Suge Knight, shortly after he was found guilty last December.
Now, two lawyers from Baez Law Firm are representing him because Kenner had a “scheduling conflict” that prevented him from being part of his team.
In a statement posted by Baez law firm, reportedly in first person from Tory Lanez, it read, “I am happy to announce to all of those interested in justice, that today my attorneys Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma filed my motion for a new trial. Additionally, due to a scheduling conflict, David Kenner will no longer be a part of my defense team. I would like to thank Mr. Kenner for his hard work and wise counsel.” The rapper noted that the two lawyers will continue to represent him.
Baez Law Firm
On Wednesday, Rolling Stone said the rapper’s lawyers filed applications in court seeking a new trial, more than three months since he was convicted of shooting Megan Thee Stallion in 2020.
In the documents, Jose Baez, who previously represented Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty of killing her daughter, said that the judge “erroneously” allowed the jury to review evidence- the Instagram comment from Lanez which said Kelsey Harris was not the shooter.
At the time, Lanez’s lawyer George Mgdesyan did not object or rebut the evidence being introduced by the prosecution but now the latest filing has a declaration from the Canadian rapper’s social media manager Joshua Farias who claims it was he and not Tory who wrote the comment.
According to the lawyers, the post was introduced mid-trial and was not in discovery which basically ambushed the defense because they did not have time to find out whether the comment was legit from Lanez.
Baez claims that the post was prejudicial to Lanez’s defense that Kelsey Harris was the shooter because it seemed to admit that Kelsey didn’t fire the gun.
“The court erred on numerous questions of law in allowing the People to introduce this post, depriving defendant of a fair trial,” the motion read.
Despite his previous applications by Kenner to appeal the conviction, Lanez’s new lawyers want a new trial.
“The only acceptable remedy for this miscarriage of justice is a new trial,” the motion said.
Tory Lanez is scheduled to be sentenced in April after successful applications by Kenner to allow his defense time to prepare his motion. The rapper is facing 22 years in jail based on the sentences for the three offenses he was convicted of.
Meanwhile, the motion also took issue with the prosecution’s case claiming that he was unfairly “painted defendant as a gun-wielding career criminal,” even though Lanez did not offer any evidence or witnesses that speak to his supposed good character to counteract this perception.
It seems that the new lawyers are also arguing a ground that his lawyer and friend Mgdesyan failed to object to and challenge inferences as irrelevant by the prosecution, such as asking a witness about “the big gun that Tory has tattooed at the center of his chest.”
Baez’s motion further seeks to rely on the protection of black art law in California that prevents creative expression from being used that can lead to racist stereotypes, something the prosecution allegedly did when they highlighted Lanez’s tattoos and music, which inferred the “improper consideration of criminal propensity based on his ‘gangster’ rapper persona.”
“Ironically, defendant’s tattoo was an homage to Tupac Shakur. Mr Shakur used his music and tattoos to discuss socio-political issues affecting the Black community in the nineties…Mr. Shakur carried the same AK-47 tattoo on his chest as a symbol of Black unity and the fight against racism,” the motion said.
The motion also mentions Tory Lanez’s being told that if he testified, his rap lyrics and a music video “cap” might be introduced into evidence. In that song, the rapper is accused of sending shots at Megan Thee Stallion- references to him chopping off a horse’s leg with a meat chopper following the shooting, which prosecutors brought up but could not enter into evidence.
The motion for a new trial is heavily relying on the new legislation (AB2799), although it’s unclear if there is a savings law clause that Lanez’s matter might be sheltered under.
The motion added that the impeached evidence prejudiced Lanez’s right to testify according to AB2799, thereby affecting his right to a fair trial.