Rapper's Killer Gets 60 Years

Nipsey Hussle was shot to death on an LA street in 2019
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2023 4:58 PM CST
Rapper's Killer Gets 60 Years
Eric Holder Jr. sits in the courtroom at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Sept. 15 in Los Angeles.   (Apu Gomes/Pool Photo via AP, File)

A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday sentenced the man convicted of gunning down rapper Nipsey Hussle to 60 years to life in prison. Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke II handed down the oft-delayed sentence to Eric R. Holder Jr., 33, who was found guilty of the 2019 first-degree murder of the 33-year-old Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist outside the clothing store Hussle founded, the Marathon, in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where both men grew up, the AP reports. After the monthlong trial, jurors in July also convicted Holder of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a firearm for gunfire that hit two other men at the scene; both of them survived.

Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke handed down the sentence Wednesday after hearing from one of Hussle's friends and listening to a letter from Holder's father that was read in court. Holder stared straight ahead throughout the proceedings and did not react when the sentence was read. Holder was not eligible for the death penalty. He was nearly certain to get a sentence that would guarantee he would spend the rest of his life in prison, with only the details of his term in question. The sentencing has been delayed in part so defense attorney Aaron Jansen could argue to reduce Holder's conviction to manslaughter or second-degree murder, which Jacke rejected in December.

Hussle, whose legal name is Ermias Asghedom, and Holder had known each other growing up as members of the Rollin' 60s in South LA. Both were aspiring rappers. But Holder never found the same success as Hussle, who became a local hero and national celebrity. Actor Lauren London, who was Hussle's partner and the mother of his two young children, did not attend any part of the trial, nor did any of his relatives. Herman "Cowboy" Douglas, a close friend of Hussle who was standing with him when he was killed, told the court that the death was a tremendous loss both for him personally and for the South Los Angeles community where Hussle was a business leader and an inspiration. "I just want to know why," he said, per the AP. "The world wants to know why. Why someone would do that?"

(Read more Nipsey Hussle stories.)

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