Trial for Nipsey Hussle Murder Suspect Begins Friday

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The murder trial for the man charged with killing Nipsey Hussle is set to begin on Friday, three years after the rapper was shot outside his clothing store in South Los Angeles.

The defendant, Eric Holder Jr., has been charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon as well as two counts of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly wounding two other people in addition to Hussle. Holder was arrested on April 2, 2019, three days after Hussle’s death and has since been in jail with a bail set at $6.5 million.

According to grand jury transcripts following Holder’s arrest, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said that Holder walked up to a group that included Hussle — real name Ermias Joseph Asghedom — and got into a heated discussion that “had something to do with Mr. Asghedom accusing Mr. Holder of snitching, which, in the gang world, is a very serious offense.”

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McKinney then said that the defendant left and returned to Hussle’s shop minutes later, opening fire and inflicting 11 gunshot wounds on Hussle while wounding two others. Holder left the scene in the car of a woman he was dating, who later spoke with police and was offered immunity in exchange for her testimony.

If convicted, Holder could face a life sentence in state prison. The trial is expected to last four weeks.

Hussle, 33, was known for his work in community reinvestment in his Crenshaw neighborhood, having bought the lot that his clothing store, Marathon, was located in along with other small businesses to encourage local Black entrepreneurship. Following his death, the rapper received two posthumous Grammys while community organizing and safety programs have been founded in his memory.

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