The indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday, includes allegations that Holder used a handgun and caused "great bodily injury and death"

By Robyn Merrett
May 21, 2019 11:30 PM
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Nearly two months after rapper Nipsey Hussle was fatally gunned down outside his Los Angeles clothing store, his alleged killer Eric Holder has been indicted by a grand jury.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced the arraignment on Tuesday, explaining Holder was indicted on May 9 on one count of murder, two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

“The indictment, which was unsealed today, also includes allegations that Holder personally used a handgun and caused great bodily injury and death,” the news release read.

Holder had already been charged on April 8, but the indictment will allow the case to skip a preliminary hearing and head straight to trial. If convicted, Holder could face a maximum sentence of life in state prison.

Holder pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on Tuesday. He is scheduled to return for a pretrial hearing on June 18.

Hussle was killed on Sunday, March 31 in the parking lot of his store, Marathon Clothing Company. He was 33.

Two other men were also shot, though they survived their injuries.

Nipsey Hussle
Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

At a press conference following Hussle’s death, LAPD Chief Michel R. Moore described a personal dispute between Holder and Hussle, alleging that Holder showed up in front of Hussle’s clothing store multiple times before shooting him.

“Mr. Holder walked up on multiple occasions and engaged in a conversation with Nipsey and the others that were there,” Moore said. “He left and subsequently came back armed with a handgun and purposefully and repeatedly fired, striking and killing Nipsey Hussle.”

Hussle died from gunshot wounds of both the head and torso, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed on Monday. “Paramedics were called and [Hussle who was born Ermias Joseph Asghedom] was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.,” the coroner said, in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Eric Holder

The news of Holder’s indictment comes a week after his attorney Chris Darden, who was famously part of the prosecution team in the O.J. Simpson trial, withdrew from the murder case after receiving threats against him and his family.

The former prosecutor announced that he was stepping back in a Facebook post. Holder had a court date scheduled for that same day, which Darden noted was the last time he would appear in the case.

“After centuries of a history of black men hung from trees without trial, or after the thousands of cases of black men tried, convicted and executed without counsel; after Gideon v. Wainwright & Powell v. Alabama, I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice. Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too.”

RELATED: Diddy, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and More Pay Tribute to Rapper Nipsey Hussle After Shocking Death

“The right to counsel is not only a constitutional right, it is a civil right as well,” Darden added.

In the time since Hussle’s death, many have mourned the Grammy-nominated rapper on social media, including his friends, family, and fans.

His girlfriend Lauren London spoke out about the loss of her longtime love in a statement shared on Instagram.

Lauren London and Nipsey Hussle
Steve Granitz/WireImage

“I am completely lost. I’ve lost my best friend, my sanctuary, my protector, my soul,” the actress, 34, wrote. “We are lost without you babe — I have no words.”

Among the photos shared, London included a sweet image of Hussle throwing their 2½-year-old son Kross in the air. London also posted a selfie of Hussle and Kross. It was the first time the actress had shared a photo of their son’s face.

London later spoke about Hussle’s love for his family at his emotional memorial, which was held at the Staples Center. The rapper was also a father to 10-year-old daughter Emani from a previous relationship.

“My pain is from a 2-year-old that probably won’t remember how much his dad loved him,” she said.

“His soul was majestic. He was the strongest man that I ever knew. A gentle father, a patient leader, a divine light. He was brilliant. He researched everything, completely self-taught, constantly seeking knowledge,” London said.