A jury has convicted Eric Holder, Jr. of first-degree murder in the death of Los Angeles rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was killed outside of his South L.A. clothing store, The Marathon, in May 2019 at the age of 33. Hussle was shot 11 times while he was signing autographs for fans.
Two other men were wounded in the shooting.
Describing the shooting as “cold blooded” and “calculated,” L.A. County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said he hopes the conviction brings peace to those following the case.
“We hope that today is a day in which the Asghedom family, the friends and fans of Nispey Hussle around the world will find some measure of closure,” he said.
Holder’s trial began in June, and jurors deliberated for less than a full day before reaching the guilty verdict.
On the day of the murder, Holder, 32, allegedly confronted Hussle outside Hussle’s store. During a four-minute conversation, Hussle reportedly told Holder he’d heard Holder was snitching, according to McKinney. Holder is allegedly a member of the Rollin’ 60s Crips gang.
According to investigators, Holder initially left the scene, but returned within six minutes with two handguns, firing at Hussle and the two other men repeatedly.
During the trial, McKinney argued that Holder planned Hussle’s murder, and was motivated in part by jealousy over Hussle’s success. Holder’s defense countered that claim, saying the killing happened in the heat of the moment and that he should have been charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Herman Douglas, a friend of Hussle’s who is known as “Cowboy,” was present at the time of the shooting. He testified that Hussle was trying to help Holder by telling him the snitching rumor was going around.
Holder was arrested days later when his getaway driver turned herself in to the police. He faced six charges, including one count of first-degree murder and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm. He pled not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.
After Hussle’s death, a memorial service was held at The Staples Center. During the ceremony, Hussle’s mother, brother and longtime romantic partner spoke, and a letter from President Barack Obama was read aloud. Tributes were also offered by Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Issa Rae and more.
Hussle was mourned by fans throughout the city. Massive crowds gathered for his funeral procession, and the L.A. City Council unanimously approved a motion to rename the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and Slauson Ave. “Nipsey Hussle Square.”
“He was a West Coast hero,” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson said at the time of the intersection’s naming, “who spent his resources and his life giving back to the community.”
Douglas echoes the sentiment.
“He’s supposed to still be here,” he said. “We losing a lot of good people.”
Holder’s attorney, Aaron Jansen said, in a statement, that he’s “deeply disappointed” in the first-degree murder conviction and plans to appeal.
Holder’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15. He faces life in prison.