LOS ANGELES – In South Los Angeles in 2019, the Grammy-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and died. After being convicted guilty of the crime, Eric Holder Jr. received a sentence of 60 years to life in prison on Wednesday, with credit for the 1,423 days previously served. Holder’s sentencing hearing had been continuously pushed out since late September.
The defense’s motion to have Holder’s sentence lowered to second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter was turned down by Judge H. Clay Jacke of the Superior Court in December. He also dismissed their request for a new trial. A Los Angeles County jury in July found Holder Jr. guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Hussle outside his clothing store in March 2019.
Holder was also found guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter for injuring two spectators during the event as well as one count of possessing a firearm while a felon. The charges that he purposely shot a gun while present and injured one of the victims severely was also found to be true by the jury.
The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for over six hours over the course of two days before making a judgment. The incident took place after the two men talked about their concerns that Holder might be a police informant. Holder was cleared of first-degree murder, according to Jansen, as a result of a “fire of passion” he had after being openly accused of being a “snitch” by a celebrity the caliber of Hussle.
Holder and Hussle, whose true name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, had known each other for years growing up as members of the Rollin’ 60s in South Los Angeles when they just so happened to stumble into each other by coincidence outside the clothes store the rapper built in his area. The result was the shooting that took place after.
Holder had “quite a bit of time for premeditation and contemplation,” according to assistant district attorney John McKinney, before going back to the parking area near Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, where the rapper was shot 10 to 11 times. The killing was “cold-blooded” and “planned,” according to McKinney.
As Hussle passed away in April 2019, thousands of people attended his memorial ceremony, and musicians like Stevie Wonder and Snoop Dogg paid tribute to him. During the event, a letter written by former President Barack Obama was read. It contained the following: “Nipsey saw potential where other people saw just gangs, violence, and hopelessness in the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up. He saw a glimmer of optimism.
He came across a group of individuals who, in spite of their flaws, inspired him to never give up.” When he was killed, Hussle had recently garnered his first Grammy nomination and had just put out his major-label debut album. The rapper-entrepreneur received two Grammy Awards in 2020, one for best rap performance for “Racks in the Middle” and the other for best rap/sung performance for “Higher.”