On Wednesday, Nipsey Hussle’s killer Eric Holder was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the death of the rapper in 2019.
He was also found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. This was because he left two more people injured during the shooting of the LA legend.
According to Fox News, jurors ruled that they found Holder guilty of personally and intentionally discharging a handgun and inflicting great bodily injury on one of the victims.
During the trial, defense attorney Aaron Jansen admitted that his client “shot and killed” Hussle but argued that the shooting occurred in “heat of passion.”
The defense team also claimed that Holder acted out of “impulse and rashness” and had no “cooling off period” after being called a “snitch” by Hussle prior to the shooting.
They alleged that the government had “over-charged” Holder from the start and that his crime did not match the level of first-degree murder.
Jansen also said Holder’s attack on Hussle was the result of “provocation that stirred up rage and powerful emotions.” He claimed that voluntary manslaughter would be the correct charge against the perpetrator.
However, prosecutors continued to urge jurors to convict Holder of first-degree murder for his “personal attack” on Hussle.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney dubbed the shooting “calculated” and “cold-blooded” and said it stemmed from alleged jealousy:
“He’s not consumed by rage... [Nipsey Hussle] was a successful artist from the same neighbourhood as Eric Holder, who’s an unsuccessful artist. I submit to you that the motive for killing Nipsey Hussle had little to do with the conversation they had... There’s pre-existing jealousy.”
Holder’s lawyer continued to defend his client, saying he had “no hatred” towards Nipsey Hussle and did not act out of jealousy. He insisted that Holder only reacted to the “snitching allegation” as it is considered a serious accusation in their circle:
“It’s not victim-blaming, it’s not an excuse and it’s not a justification.”
Following eight days of deliberations, the jurors finally ruled that Eric Holder was guilty of first-degree murder.
The trial was slightly delayed after Holder was attacked with a razor earlier inside his prison cell last week.
A look into Eric Holder’s fatal shooting attack on Nipsey Hussle
On March 31, 2019, Nipsey Hussle was shot nearly 10 times in the parking lot of his South Los Angeles Marathon Clothing store. He was transported to a nearby hospital along with two other victims but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Medical examiners revealed that the rapper suffered gunshot wounds to his right chest and to the right side of his back, penetrating his chest and lungs. He also had a wound to the posterior top of his scalp and another near his navel that entered his abdomen and severed his spinal cord.
Eric Holder was identified as the suspect in the attack and was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on April 2, 2019. During the trial, prosecutors revealed that Holder and Hussle were old acquaintances of the same street gang who had an encounter in the parking lot before the attack.
On the day of the shooting, Nipsey Hussle reportedly made an unannounced visit to the plaza. He spent nearly half an hour at his store hanging out with friends, posing with fans and signing autographs.
Around the same time, Eric Holder reportedly drove around the area with a woman named Bryannita Nicholson. As the duo stopped to order food, Holder approached Hussle and had a brief conversation while Nicholson waited in the car.
As per witness testimony, during their conversation, Hussle told Holder that there were rumors that he “snitched” on their gang and cooperated with law enforcement. He asked him to “get the paperwork” to prove his innocence.
Following the conversation, Nicholson posed for a selfie with Hussle before being asked by Holder to pull the car into a different parking lot. She later testified that she saw Holder loading a nine-millimeter pistol and leaving after taking a few bites of food.
Other witnesses claimed that Holder returned to confront Nipsey Hussle and said “you’re through” before firing at the rapper nearly 10 times and kicking him in the head twice.
Holder was later identified through surveillance camera footage. He was arrested without incident two days after the shooting and placed in solitary confinement.
The high-profile murder trial came to a close on July 6, with the shooter being declared guilty of first-degree murder.
According to the New York Times, Holder can face anywhere between 25 years to life imprisonment and will be sentenced on September 15, 2022.