Eric Holder Jr., the man who was charged with fatally shooting rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019, has been convicted of first-degree murder.
As the New York Times reports, the jury met for less than an hour on the second day of deliberations before reaching their verdict. In addition to first-degree murder, 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.
Holder’s Conviction Could Mean Life in Prison
Holder fatally shot Hussle outside the rapper’s Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles on 31st March, 2019. Hussle was shot 10 times, including in his head and through his spine, severing it.
Holder was arrested two days later and charged with murder. After multiple setbacks including the pandemic and a judge’s retirement, the trial began last month, with Holder pleading not guilty.
Much of Holder’s case rested on arguing that, while he did shoot and kill Hussle, it was not a premeditated act. His public defender, Aaron Jansen, told the court that Holder had committed the crime in “the heat of passion” after an argument between him and the rapper. After Hussle accused Holder of “snitching”, Jansen said, he had become “so enflamed and enraged” that he shot Hussle less than 10 minutes later, without time to “cool off”.
However, the jury agreed with Los Angeles county prosecutors that Holder had left the meeting with Hussle without displaying aggression. He then returned to his car, drove around the block, loaded a gun, ate some fries and told a friend to wait for him in a nearby parking lot before going back to Marathon with two handguns and open firing on Hussle. After shooting 10 times, he kicked Hussle in the head as he laid bleeding on the ground.
“He had plenty of opportunity to think about what he was going to do before he did it,” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the jury during the trial. Sentencing for Holder will take place in September, with the 32-year-old facing life in prison.
Following Hussle’s death, there was an outpouring of tributes for the rapper, whose death at the age of 33 sent shockwaves through the world of hip-hop.
Snoop Dogg released a tribute, ‘Nipsey Blue’, while Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch united on the memorial track ‘Letter to Nipsey’ in 2020. The same year, Big Sean shared the song ‘Deep Reverence’, featuring a posthumous verse from Hussle. Most recently, Kendrick Lamar honoured Hussle on his track ‘The Heart Part 5’ earlier this year.