Nipsey Hussle’s Accused Killer Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder
UPDATE (July 6):
Eric Holder's attorney, Aaron Jansen, has released a statement to XXL in the wake of his client being found guilty of murdering Nipsey Hussle.
"While Mr. Holder, Jr. was found guilty of first degree murder of Nipsey Hustle, he was acquitted of the attempted murders of Mr. Lathan and Mr. Villanueva," the statement reads. "Sentencing is set for September 15, 2022 after which we will file an appeal."
ORIGINAL STORY (July 6):
Eric Holder Jr., the man accused of killing beloved Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, has been found guilty of murder.
On Wednesday (July 6), following a two-week trial, the jury returned with a verdict of guilty on one count of first-degree murder, according to Los Angeles Times court reporter James Queally. He was also convicted of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm for shooting two bystanders. Holder originally faced attempted murder for injuring the bystanders. He faces up to life in prison for killing Nipsey Hussle.
Holder shot and killed Nipsey Hussle and wounded two bystanders on March 31, 2019, in the parking lot of the Victory Lap rapper's The Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles. According to witness testimony, the shooting was triggered by Holder asking Nipsey if the rapper told people Holder snitched.
One of the prosecution's key witnesses was Bryannita Nicholson, 35, a friend of Holder who had been driving him around on the day of the murder. She told jurors that she and Holder went to the shopping plaza that day to get something to eat at a nearby Master Burger restaurant when they spotted Nipsey in the parking lot in front of his store. Nicholson said they approached Nipsey so she could get a picture and she heard Holder ask the rapper, "Did you tell somebody I snitched?"
After getting the food, according to Nicholson, Holder directed her to park behind a shopping center where he pulled out a gun. After putting away the firearm upon Nicholson's request, he told her to pull into a nearby alley where he began to eat. Shortly thereafter, he exited the vehicle abruptly, saying he would be right back. Nicholson testified she heard gunshots a short time later and Holder returned to the car powerwalking and directed her to drive away.
Holder was arrested on April 2, 2019. Two days later, he was officially charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The same day, he pleaded not guilty at the advisement of his then-attorney Christopher Darden, of O.J. Simpson trial fame.
During the trial, the jury was also shown footage of the shooting and Holder running with two handguns. In addition, the jury was informed Nipsey was shot 10 times. Holder's defense attorney, Aaron Jansen, tried to argue the shootings were not premeditated, and therefore not worthy of a first-degree murder charge.
Holder did not testify during trial. During closing arguments on June 30, L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. John McKinney talked about how impactful Nipsey's death was to the area.
“These bullets traumatized a whole community. Crimes like this, the enormity of these crimes, is that they can’t be contained … there are a lot of unnamed victims in this,” McKinney told the jury. “The bullets land either in a person or they hit a wall. They stop. But in a figurative sense these bullets are still traveling. This neighborhood has not forgotten.”
Holder, who was assaulted in jail by fellow inmates while in a holding cell on June 28, will be sentenced at a later date.
XXL has reached out to Eric Holder's attorney and the L.A. County Deputy District Attorney for comment.