Attorney Jose Baez Looks for Another Win with Tory Lanez, Who Was Convicted of Shooting Megan Thee Stallion

The high-profile attorney — known for his representation of Casey Anthony, Aaron Hernandez, and others — believes that Lanez's conviction can be successfully appealed


Earlier this week, Tory Lanez challenged a verdict that found him guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion.

The "Luv" rapper, 30, was convicted in December on all three charges against him — assault with a semiautomatic firearm; carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle; and discharging a firearm with gross negligence — for shooting Megan in 2020.

He will be sentenced on April 10 and could receive up to 22 years and eight months in state prison.

Tory Lanez, Megan Thee Stallion
Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion. Jerod Harris/Getty, Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

But not if attorney Jose Baez has anything to say about it.

Baez, who filed the appeal, addresses several items that the defense believes should have been excluded from the trial — including a photo Lanez's tattoo of a firearm. Baez says the photo hurt Lanez's case and suggested he likes weapons.

While the appeal might feel like a long shot, Baez is no stranger to overcoming nearly insurmountable odds. In 2008, he was hired by hired by Casey Anthony to defend her against charges that she had killed her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Red Huber-Pool/Getty
Red Huber-Pool/Getty

As he argued the case, pundits appeared on nightly cable shows saying that he was out of his depth. "People always underestimated me," he told PEOPLE at the time. "No one thought that I was going to win. But I knew that I would."

When Anthony was shockingly acquitted, Baez found himself the target of a mountain of internet hate. Websites popped up with pictures of him sporting devil's horns. Facebook groups with thousands of followers called for his disbarment.

But Baez found himself in high demand. His practice expanded. He was recognized everywhere he went. His phone rang off the hook — including calls from the very people who had previously said he was in over his head. Somewhere, someone called him "The King of the Courtroom." The nickname stuck. He is active on Instagram, posting accolades that he and his firm have received.

Angela Rowlings/AP/REX/Shutterstock

When former New Englands Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was on trial for a 2012 double murder, he hired Baez. Shockingly, Baez won an acquittal — and then began the appeal process for a previous murder conviction. Hernandez eventually committed suicide in prison, but had publicly thanked Baez for his representation.

"I believe in my clients," Baez told PEOPLE. "And I believed in Aaron. He was a good guy who had a lot of bad things happen, made some choices he shouldn't, but wasn't the person everyone said he was."

More recently, Baez secured an acquittal for Dr. William Husel a Columbus, Ohio physician who was accused of killing at least 14 of his patients at Ohio's Mount Carmel Hospital with overdoses of fentanyl -- in some cases, doses that were up to 10 times higher than what some experts said was the typical palliative amount. While the prosecution was unable to identify a motive in the deaths, they maintained that his actions fell under the definition of murder.

Baez disagreed — and convinced a jury that his client was innocent. He was acquitted on all charges.

Dr. William Husel, left, and defense attorney Jose Baez stand during Husel's trial, in Columbus, Ohio. Husel is accused of ordering excessive painkillers for patients in the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System. He was indicted in cases involving at least 500 micrograms of the powerful painkiller fentanyl
Barbara Perenic/AP/Shutterstock

It's unclear whether Baez will score another legal victory with Lanez, but he is leaving no stone unturned.

In his appeal, Baez writes that prosecutors "painted defendant as a gun-wielding career criminal" and that they "revealed their true motive" when showing the shirtless photo of Lanez and "deprived" him of his "due process" based on a California law, AB 2799, which went into effect nine days after Lanez's guilty verdict and aims to stop "creative expression" from being presented as evidence that might show racial bias. They alleged that the photo caused "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," his lawyers wrote, according to Rolling Stone. "Mr. Shakur carried the same AK-47 tattoo on his chest as a symbol of Black unity and the fight against racism."

Lanez — and Baez — will appear in court on April 10 for the next step in the process.

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