The gunman accused of fatally shooting Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle was on Wednesday found guilty of first-degree murder, CBS News reported. Eric Holder’s conviction came three years after the Grammy-nominated rapper was shot multiple times outside his Marathon Clothing store in his South-Central Los Angeles neighborhood.
The jury returned with their Wednesday verdict after deliberating for more than five hours. Holder was also indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder as the shots he fired struck two bystanders, per The Associated Press. The jury, however, rather convicted him on two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter.
At the start of his trial in June, prosecutors told the court that Holder’s actions were planned and premeditated. Deputy District Attorney John McKinney alleged Holder was well aware he was going to take the rapper’s life. Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was struck at least ten times, McKinney said, adding that Holder also kicked the Victory Lap rapper’s head before fleeing the scene.
McKinney said the two men had gotten into a dispute after Nipsey Hussle was made aware of Holder being a snitch. McKinney said the deceased rapper had intended to “clear that up,” per The Associated Press. And prior to the shooting, the prosecutor said Holder together with Hussle and two of his friends had a “cool conversation.” Hussle was said to be without any security when he went to his store.
But during the trial, Holder’s attorney Aaron Jansen denied his client’s actions were premeditated. He claimed it was spurred by “heated passion.”
Holder’s conviction came after he was assaulted by inmates last week, CBS News reported. Jansen said Holder was in a holding cell when “multiple individuals” attacked him. He was reportedly attacked with a razor. And in the aftermath of the incident, Holder was taken to a hospital where he underwent an MRI and got the back of his head stapled, Jansen said.