Nipsey Hussle Shooter Found Guilty of Murder
Eric R. Holder Jr., the 32-year-old man charged with shooting and killing Nipsey Hussle in the spring of 2019, has been found guilty of first-degree murder, according to The New York Times. The California jury came to its decision after meeting for less than an hour on the second day of deliberations, according to the report. Holder was also found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, one count of possessing a firearm as a felon, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, according to The Times. Holder will be sentenced on September 15, and he could be facing life in prison.
Nipsey Hussle, the 33-year-old rapper and entrepreneur born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was killed in front of his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31, 2019, shocking the music community. Two other men were injured as a result of the shooting. Holder was arrested two days later, at which point he was charged with murder, attempted murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He entered a not guilty plea, and he has since remained incarcerated. Last week, Rolling Stone reported that the trial had been briefly delayed as a result of an unknown medical issue that prevented Holder from attending the trial. An unnamed source told the magazine that Holder had been physically assaulted while in custody.
Holder’s trial began in early June after multiple setbacks. It was originally supposed to begin in the spring of 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic and a judge’s retirement. During the trial, Holder’s public defender, Aaron Jansen, acknowledged that Holder shot Hussle, but maintained that the killing was not premeditated, describing it, instead, as a crime committed in “the heat of passion.”
Testimony indicated that there was tension over whether or not Holder had been cooperating with law enforcement as officers investigated alleged gang activity, with Holder feeling that he had been accused of snitching. Although Hussle had spoken openly about his youthful affiliation with the Rollin’ 60s Crips, he prioritized local community-building as an adult, borne out through Marathon Clothing, a nearby co-working space, and other outreach efforts.
The trial’s proceedings revealed the identity of Bryannita Nicholson, a woman who had been with Holder before and after the shooting. As The New York Times reports, testimony and prosecutors revealed that Holder and Nicholson spotted Hussle in the parking lot of the strip mall that housed Marathon Clothing. Hussle often made unannounced appearances at the store, and he had spent time visiting with fans outside when Holder spotted him. After making a stop at the scene—with Nicholson apparently getting a selfie with Hussle—the pair picked up fast food nearby, with Holder instructing Nicholson to pull into a parking lot so they could eat. Holder returned to the strip mall parking lot less than 10 minutes later, firing at Hussle with a pistol in each hand: one semi-automatic, one revolver. Holder then kicked Hussle in the head twice as he laid bleeding on the ground with 10 gunshot wounds, one of which had severed his spine.