The rapper’s lawyers Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma filed a motion for a new trial last month, citing multiple grounds for re-trial in paperwork seen by Rolling Stone. Among the arguments is a claim that the judge in the trial, which wrapped last December, barred a fair trial by “erroneously” allowing jurors to view a social media post in which it was alleged that Thee Stallion’s now-estranged best friend Kelsey Harris was not the shooter.
Now, Lanez has had his own say on the matter. The letter, addressed to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, makes several accusations against Deputy District Attorneys Kathy Ta and Alex Bott, including the allegation that they unlawfully misused their authority to “hide and suppress any and all exculpatory evidence that exonerates me, or furthers my innocence”.
The motion Lanez’s lawyers filed made no reference to any notion of withholding evidence.
“Dear George Gascón, I write this message with the utmost humility, love and respect for the remarkable stance you’ve taken in regards to fighting for the justice of Black and Brown minorities,” the letter began.
“Today I take a stance as an innocent Black man, wrongfully convicted of a crime I did NOT commit. I’ve watched two district attorneys from your office by the names of Kathy Ta and Alex Bott unlawfully misuse their authority to hide and suppress any and all exculpatory evidence that exonerates me, or furthers my innocence. I was completely robbed and deprived of a fair trial.
“On May 8, my lawyers will be arguing a motion for a new trial. Not only do I owe it to myself to fight for my freedom, but I owe it to my 6 year old child, my family, fans and most importantly the hundreds and thousands of Black and Hispanic minorities that cannot adequately fight for themselves. For 3 years, the prosecution has manipulated a false narrative, that has left me with no choice but to expose, and make aware, the practices, the behind door deals, and the unjust system used to illegally convict me and countless other minorities. We elected you because of your outstanding eminence in making fair and correct judgments in justice of people of color.
“Mr. Gascon, I come to you today as a wrongfully convicted man, not asking for sympathy, nor compassion, but for you to simply do what is fair and right by the laws of California and most importantly the eyes of God.”
NME has approached the LA County District Attorney office for comment.
In December, Peterson was convicted of all three charges against him and is facing up to 22 years in prison at sentencing.
Megan Thee Stallion has always maintained throughout testimony and interviews that Lanez shot her following an argument in an SUV while they and Harris were leaving a party at Kylie Jenner’s home.
“I don’t want to call myself a victim. As I reflect on the past three years, I view myself as a survivor, because I have truly survived the unimaginable,” she wrote. “Not only did I survive being shot by someone I trusted and considered a close friend, but I overcame the public humiliation of having my name and reputation dragged through the mud by that individual for the entire world to see.”
Discussing the verdict, Megan Thee Stallion described the event as “a victory for every woman who has ever been shamed, dismissed, and blamed for a violent crime committed against them,” and a step in the right direction for those who don’t “fit the profile of a victim”.