Eric R. Holder Jr., the man charged with killing Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. The jury came to the decision after meeting for less than an hour, according to a report by The New York Times. In addition to the murder charge, Holder Jr. was also convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter, given that he injured two other victims in the shooting. He faces a maximum of life in prison and is set to be sentenced in September.
In a report by NBC Los Angeles, Holder Jr.’s attorney Aaron Jansen said the shooting was committed in a fit of “heated passion.” Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John McKinney revealed in his opening statement that the shooter was angered over accusations of being a snitch. After a conversation between the two, Holder Jr.’s partner Bryannita Nicholson drove him to pick up food. Shortly after, he returned and opened fire.
Hussle and Holder Jr. knew each other prior to the tragic murder. The two grew up in the same neighborhood, were part of the same gang and were both rappers.
Holder Jr. was initially arrested two days after the murder on April 2, 2019. and was indicted on one count of murder, two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm. The trial was postponed several times and finally began on June 23.
Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was in the parking lot of his clothing store Marathon Clothing when he was shot several times. Two others were wounded in the shooting. After all three victims were transported to the hospital, Hussle was pronounced dead. He was 33 years old.
Prior to his passing, Hussle was a beloved figure in Los Angeles hip-hop. The rapper was known for working with the youth of his Crenshaw neighborhood, promoting Black art and working within his community to prevent gang violence. His only studio album, 2018’s Victory Lap, debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and received acclaim from critics.
In addition to being a renowned musician and activist, Hussle was an entrepreneur. In addition to his clothing store, the rapper sold mixtapes independently and eventually founded his own record label All Money In after leaving Epic Records. Since its inception in 2010 with Hussle’s The Marathon mixtape, the label has released over 25 albums.
Shortly after his passing, former President Barack Obama penned an open letter to Hussle’s family and friends, saying, “While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going.”
Hussle was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2021. Hussle is survived by his longtime partner Lauren London and two children.