Jury finds man guilty of murdering rapper Nipsey Hussle

Jul 5, 2022, 10:49 PM | Updated: Jul 6, 2022, 6:23 pm
Eric Holder Jr., right, who is accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle, and his attorney, Aaron Jan...

Eric Holder Jr., right, who is accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle, and his attorney, Aaron Jansen, listen as court clerk Sarah Girardot reads the verdict in a courtroom in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Jurors have found the 32-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder for the 2019 fatal shooting of the rapper. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool)

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, Pool)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 32-year-old man who grew up on the same streets in the same gang as Nipsey Hussle was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the 2019 shooting of the Grammy-winning rapper, who rose above his circumstances to become an inspiration to the neighborhood where he was eventually gunned down.

The Los Angeles County jury also found Eric R. Holder Jr. guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter for gunfire that hit other men at the scene. Prosecutors had sought two counts of attempted murder. Holder also was found guilty of two counts of assault with a firearm on the same men.

Holder, wearing a blue suit and face mask, stood up in the small court room next to his lawyer as the verdict was read. He had no visible reaction. His lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Aaron Jansen, conceded during the trial that Holder shot Hussle, 33, whose legal name is Ermias Asghedom, but had sought a lesser verdict of voluntary manslaughter.

Jansen said in an email that he was deeply disappointed in the first-degree murder verdict.

“It was always going to be tough given the high profile circumstances surrounding the case,” Jansen said.

He added that he and Holder were grateful that the jury agreed that the attempted murder counts were overcharged. They plan to appeal the murder conviction, he said.

A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching the verdict. Most of their deliberations took place Friday, and they promptly came to their unanimous decision Wednesday, briefly reconvening after a four-day break. A pair of typos on the verdict form discovered as the results were read forced jurors to briefly return to deliberations before the outcome could be made official, but they had no bearing on the outcome.

“We are both proud and I am a little relieved that the verdict came in a complete, absolute agreement with the charges that Eric Holder murdered Ermias Asghedom in cold blood,” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said outside the courtroom. “We hope that today is a day in which the Asghedom family and the friends and fans of Nipsey Hussle around the world will find some measure of closure.”

No relatives of Hussle were in the room when the verdict was read, nor did any attend the trial.

The judge has a wide range of options when he sentences Holder on Sept. 15. The first-degree murder charge alone carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

“Obviously nothing that happened here today can heal the wound, nothing that happened here today can restore Mr. Asghedom to this world, but we hope that there is some resounding peace in the fact that his killer will be in prison likely for the rest of his life,” McKinney said.

The verdict brings an end to a legal saga that has lasted more than three years and a trial that was often delayed because of the pandemic.

Hussle and Holder had known each other for years growing up as members of the Rollin’ 60s in South Los Angeles when a chance meeting outside the clothing store the rapper opened in his neighborhood led to the shooting, and his death.

The evidence against Holder was overwhelming, from eyewitnesses to surveillance cameras from local businesses that captured his arrival, the shooting and his departure.

The shooting followed a conversation the two men had about rumors that Holder had been acting as an informant for authorities. Jansen argued that being publicly accused of being a “snitch” by a person as prominent as Hussle brought on a “heat of passion” in Holder that made him not guilty of first-degree murder.

Hussle’s close friend Herman “Cowboy” Douglas, who was standing next to him when he was shot and testified at the trial, said the conversation he heard does not explain the killing for him.

“It feels good to get some closure, but I still need to know why,” Douglas said after the verdict.

After years of grinding that won him underground acclaim — his nickname was both a play on the name of comedian Nipsey Russell and a nod to the hustle the future hip-hop star showed in making music and selling CDs — Hussle had just released his major-label debut album and earned his first Grammy nomination when he was killed.

He was a widely beloved figure in Los Angeles, especially in the South LA area where he grew up and remained after gaining fame, buying property and opening businesses.

A year after his death, Hussle was mourned at a memorial at the arena then known as Staples Center, and celebrated in a performance at the Grammy Awards that included DJ Khaled and John Legend.

It was more than two years after that when the man who shot him would go on trial.

“Today was really about Nipsey Hussle and the legacy that he leaves behind,” McKinney said Wednesday. “This verdict and the story of his life will be talked about for sure at Crenshaw and Slauson, but the meaning of it will carry far beyond those streets.”

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm dribbles the ball against the Minnesota Lynx in the third quarter...
Associated Press

Seattle starts playoffs against Washington

The Seattle Storm host the Washington Mystics in game one of the first round of the WNBA playoffs.
12 hours ago
In this photo taken from video footage released by Roscosmos Space Agency, Roscosmos' cosmonauts Ol...
Associated Press

Russian spacewalk cut short by bad battery in cosmonaut suit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A Russian spacewalker had to rush back inside the International Space Station on Wednesday when the battery voltage in his spacesuit suddenly dropped. Russian Mission Control ordered Oleg Artemyev, the station commander, to quickly return to the airlock so he could hook his suit to station power. The hatch remained […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Family to proceed with suit alleging man tortured in Lebanon

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Relatives of a Lebanese American man said they are happy to proceed with their lawsuit alleging that Lebanon’s security agency kidnapped and tortured him before he died in the U.S., now that a judge has rejected the agency’s attempt to strike the allegations. Amer Fakhoury died in the United States in […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nests 1st in 75 years in Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The world’s smallest and most endangered sea turtles have hatched in Louisiana’s wilds for the first known time in more than 75 years, officials said Wednesday. “Louisiana was largely written off as a nesting spot for sea turtles decades ago, but this determination demonstrates why barrier island restoration is so important,” […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

School shooter’s attorneys drop contentious brain exam

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz reversed course Wednesday and said they will not present at his ongoing penalty trial results of a highly contentious brain exam they had said supports their contention the mass murderer suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. Cruz attorney Casey Secor told Circuit Judge Elizabeth […]
2 days ago
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve Board...
Associated Press

Fed saw evidence of a slowing economy at its last meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials saw signs that the U.S. economy was weakening at their last meeting but still called inflation “unacceptably high” before raising their benchmark interest rate by a sizable three-quarters of a point in their drive to slow spiking prices. In minutes from their July 26-27 meeting released Wednesday, the policymakers […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Jury finds man guilty of murdering rapper Nipsey Hussle