Eric Holder Jr. has been found guilty for the first-degree murder of Nipsey Hussle, per the Los Angeles Times. Holder did not react when the verdict was read. The decision comes after more than two weeks of the trial. On May 31, 2019, Holder fatally shot Hussle ten times in a parking lot outside the rapper’s Marathon clothing store. During the two-week trial, prosecutors detailed an interaction in which Hussle claimed Holder had been “snitching,” or working with law enforcement, and argued that Holder returned and began shooting just minutes later to retaliate — which would thus make the murder premeditated and warrant a first-degree conviction. Much of the trial focused on the gang affiliations between Hussle, the rapper born Ermias Asghedom, and Holder, through the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips in Los Angeles. Holder’s public defender did not dispute that Holder killed Hussle but said the shooting happened in the “heat of passion” while arguing for a lesser charge.
The trial was marked by a few other unusual circumstances. Early on, prosecutors objected to Holder’s attorney, Aaron Jansen, citing an image from the film Scarface to discuss snitching in his opening statement. One witness for the prosecution, Evan “Rimpau” MacKenzie, a friend of Hussle’s who saw the shooting, did not appear after being subpoenaed. And after court on June 27, Holder was beaten up after returning to jail, leaving him unable to go to court the following day. He received three staples for a cut on his head and had a black eye, Jansen told Rolling Stone. Holder now faces up to life in prison.