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Eric Holder Jr. found guilty of murder in murder of rapper

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LOS ANGELES – A jury has convicted a former acquaintance of Nipsey Hussle’s murder of the rapper, three years after Hussle was gunned down outside his Los Angeles clothing store. NBC Los Angeles reports

Eric R. Holder Jr. was found guilty on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the murder of the beloved rapper and community leader.

Hussle, a hip-hop artist and father of two, born Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed on March 31, 2019 at the age of 33 in the parking lot outside his store, The Marathon.

Holder had a chat with Hussle and two others at The Marathon in South Los Angeles, but Holder had grown angry over allegations that he was a snitch, John McKinney, a Los Angeles deputy district attorney, said at the trial.

Holder returned to the store later that day with a gun, McKinney said, where multiple witnesses said they saw him walk up to Hussle and open fire on the rapper.

Holder and Hussle grew up together and were both members of the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips gang, according to McKinney.

Holder was charged with one count of first degree murder, along with two counts of attempted first degree murder for two others who were injured in the shooting. The jury found him guilty on minor charges against the surviving victims, instead landing on two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter.

He faces a maximum life sentence and is expected to be sentenced in September.

Videos and photos shown during the trial showed Holder fleeing the scene holding a semi-automatic revolver. Hussle was shot at least 10 times.

Eric Holder Jr. listens during opening statements in his June 15 murder trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.Frederick M. Brown / Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool

McKinney charged Holder with first-degree murder during the opening statements, a claim that Holder’s attorney, Aaron Jansen, refuted.

Jansen told the jury that Holder attacked Hussle in a fit of “heated passion”, reacting to the conversation before he had time to cool down. He claimed that the charges against Holder were excessive because there was no preconceived plan to kill Hussle.

Bryannita Nicholson, who at the time described herself as having a casual relationship with Holder, testified that she drove him to the store prior to the shooting, according to police. NBC Los Angeles† According to her, the couple was eating in her car when Holder told Nicholson that he would be back and that she should stay there.

She heard gunshots shortly after, and Holder rushed back to the car and instructed her to drive, Nicholson said.

Nicholson said she was unaware of his connection to Hussle before he asked her to drive to the strip mall.

Jansen pressed Nicholson for inaccuracies in her testimony and used video to dispute her sequence of events and specific details, such as the color of a car on which Holder had placed a bag of fries.

Nicholson blamed the time between Hussle’s death and the trial for the mistakes, saying she wasn’t lying, but that she was making real mistakes.

Closing arguments were postponed last week after Holder was attacked by “multiple individuals” while waiting for transport to the Los Angeles courthouse. The back of Holder’s head was injured after being attacked with a razor.

The case was handed over to the jury last Thursday, just before the court took an extended break for the July 4 holiday.

Hussle was a respected member of the South Los Angeles community. His death sparked deep grief and outrage, prompting vigils and a public funeral at the Staples Center, where thousands gathered outside to pay tribute.

Hussle’s legacy includes his dedication to his old neighborhood, where he focused on community development and owned several businesses.

Hussle, a former gang member, was an advocate against gun violence and is said to have met with the Los Angeles Police Department before his death to discuss programs to end gang violence.

His efforts were commemorated in tribute from fans, music industry colleagues and politicians after his death. Former President Barack Obama said his daughters made him aware of Hussle, and he discovered Hussle’s community work after his death.

“While most people look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope,” Obama said in a letter read at Hussle’s funeral.

Blankstein reported from Los Angeles and Madani reported from New York.

The Associated Press contributed

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