Eric R. Holder Jr. has been found guilty in the murder trial of American rapper Nipsey Hussle.
Holder, who was charged in the fatal shooting of Nipsey Hussle in March 2019, was pronounced guilty of first-degree murder during a court session on Wednesday. The jury arrived at the verdict after six hours of deliberation.
Despite being charged with attempted first-degree murder on two counts, the jury found Holder guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter. This was as a result of two bystanders who were shot at the scene of the crime.
At the beginning of the trial–last month, prosecutors stated that Holder’s action was calculated and premeditated. According to John McKinney, the Deputy District Attorney, 32-year-old Holder shot Nipsey Hussle more than 10 times, before kicking his head and fleeing the scene. This he did to kill the rapper without a doubt.
In McKinney’s words, Hussle discovered Holder was a snitch, and looked to ‘clear that up’, following a dispute between both men. Moments before his death, Nipsey Hussle hung out with two friends and Eric J. Holder Jr., with reports showing the deceased was unguarded during the final visit to his clothing store. The case proved difficult for prosecutors as witnesses were reluctant to testify. A police officer opined that these witnesses were afraid to be deemed as snitches.
Holder’s attorney Aaron Jensen explained to the jury that the defendant never meant to shoot the two bystanders, terming Holder’s action as ‘heated passion’ rather than one planned. Jansen further revealed that his client was attacked during his remand in a cell. He was also cut with a razor, before receiving an MRI and treatments for head injuries.
Nipsey Hussle (late) was born in Ermias Asghedom, and was a household figure in the American rap industry. He was shot multiple times outside his clothing store in Los Angeles three years ago. The Grammy-nominated rapper was aged 33 at the time of his death.