Nipsey Hussle Murder: Eric R. Holder Jr. Found Guilty Of Killing Rapper

Topline

Eric R. Holder Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday for killing rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle, according to multiple outlets, over three years after the West Coast hip-hop community lost one of its most beloved members.

Key Facts

The jury deliberated for just six hours over two days before reaching a verdict.

Holder was charged with first-degree murder for Hussle’s death and attempted murder for wounding two other men in the shooting, but he was found guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter on the latter two counts.

Holder will be sentenced later, and could face life in prison, according to the New York Times.

Holder, who did not testify, was assaulted in prison by other inmates while the trial in California state court was taking place.

Key Background

Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot outside a store he owned, The Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles in 2019. Hussle and Holder grew up together and were part of the Rollin’ 60s Crips gang. When Hussle had shown up at his store one afternoon, he ran into Holder outside by chance. Hussle told Holder he had heard rumors Holder was speaking to police about the Rollin’ 60s, and the rapper told the suspect “you need to address it,” the Associated Press reported, citing grand jury testimony from a witness. Hussle was not threatening Holder, but rather warning him and “more or less trying to look out for the dude.” The conversation between the two was not heated. Holder left to pick up a food order, allegedly retrieved guns from his car, and returned to Hussle’s store, where witnesses and prosecutors said he shot Hussle. During the trial, Holder’s lawyer Aaron Jansen said his client pulled the trigger, but the shooting was not premeditated and he instead should have been charged with voluntary manslaughter, according to the Times.

Tangent

Hussle, who was 33 when he was killed, had been producing music for years before he put out his debut studio album Victory Lap in 2018, which was Grammy-nominated. Hussle was dedicated to his South L.A. neighborhood, and started several initiatives to revitalize the community and bring further access to its citizens, including a STEM program, a co-working space, his store and a museum. In 2018 he told Forbes, “If the streets listen to you and respect you, and the boardroom listens and respects you—you’ve got a job to do.” His funeral at the then-Staples Center drew thousands of visitors and a 25-mile funeral procession. One of Hussle’s last projects, the song and music video “Higher” with DJ Khaled and John Legend, was released after his death.

Further Reading

How a chance reunion led to Nipsey Hussle’s death (Associated Press)

Trial winds down in shooting death of rapper Nipsey Hussle (Associated Press)

Nipsey Hussle Murder Trial: What to Know, as Closing Arguments Near (New York Times)

Nipsey Hussle’s Legacy Is Bigger Than Rap (Pitchfork)

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