Man Who Allegedly Killed Rapper Nipsey Hussle Faces Trial

Jury selection is beginning in the murder trial of Eric Holder

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Nipsey Hussle. Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

More than three years after hip hop star Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in the parking lot of his Los Angeles clothing store, the man accused of killing him is finally facing trial.

Hussle, then 33, was killed in March 2019. Eric Holder, a 32-year-old aspiring rapper, was indicted in May 2019. Prosecutors accuse him of firing at least 10 rounds that hit Hussle. The medical examiner said that Hussle suffered 11 wounds, although two of them may have been caused by the same bullet.

Video footage from the incident allegedly showed Holder firing a silver revolver and a black semiautomatic handgun at the 33-year-old rapper. Two bystanders were injured, as well.

Prosecutors say that after the gunfire stopped, Holder kicked Hussle's body in the head before he ran away.

Holder has been in custody since his arrest. Jury selection begins in his trial this week, and is expected to take at least two weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. The trial will be at least another two weeks, attorneys have said.

Eric Holder. LAPD

During a pretrial hearing, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said that he intends to call approximately 15 witnesses, including a woman who allegedly served as Holder's getaway driver.

During McKinney's opening statement to the grand jury in 2019, before Holder was indicted, the prosecutor alleged that Holder and his girlfriend pulled into a busy parking lot at the time to get food from a burger restaurant. That's when Holder allegedly spotted Hussle, who he knew through alleged gang activity.

"Apparently, the conversation had something to do with [Hussle] telling Mr. Holder that word on the street was that Mr. Holder was snitching," McKinney said in his statement. "The conversation wasn't particularly intense. It wasn't particularly belligerent."

McKinney went on to explain that Holder was heard asking Hussle, "So you've never snitched?" or "Haven't you snitched?"

Holder then got back into his car, and he and the woman drove off. As she was driving, Holder allegedly pulled out a gun and told the woman to drive around the block so that he could load the weapon, the D.A. told the grand jury.

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Lauren London. Red Table Talk Facebook

Holder then allegedly told her to pull over and said he'd be right back. McKinney said that Holder allegedly approached Hussle outside of his store and shot him before fleeing.

Holder's public defender, Aaron Jensen, said in court that Holder has a history of mental health issues, including undergoing electroshock therapy. Jensen argued that Holder's mother had died shortly before the shooting, and that he was depressed after abruptly discontinuing his medication.

Jensen also said in pretrial hearings that Hussle's appearance at the clothing store was unannounced, which indicates that Holder did not plan the attack in advance. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree attempted murder.

The trial is expected to last through June and into July.

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