Following the tragic death of Nipsey Hussle in 2019, a man convicted of fatally shooting the rapper and local hero will likely be sentenced to life in prison. The sentencing will take place Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom.
In July, Eric R. Holder Jr., 32, was found guilty of the first-degree murder of 33 year old Hussle. He was also convicted of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a firearm for gunfire that struck two additional men at the scene who survived. The shooting took place outside the clothing store Hussle founded, the Marathon, in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where both men grew up.
Delayed sentencing has resulted in defense attorney Aaron Jansen moving for Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke to reduce Holder’s conviction to manslaughter or second-degree murder. However, the judge rejected this motion in December.
Judge Jacke will sentence Holder Thursday morning at the hearing. The murder conviction bears 25 years to life, while the other convictions insinuate life in prison when measured next to special sentencing circumstances found true by the jurors. Yet, Holder is not battling the death penalty.
Following the verdict, lead prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said, “We hope that there is some resounding peace in the fact that his killer will be in prison likely for the rest of his life.”
Hussle’s wife and mother of two children, Lauren London, did not attend any part of the trial. Overwhelming amounts of evidence against Holder are present– from eyewitnesses to surveillance cameras from local businesses that captured his arrival, the shooting and his departure — that his attorney conceded during trial that he had shot Hussle.
Just six hours after deliberations, the jury returned with a first-degree murder verdict. Jansen argued to jurors that feverish circumstances of the shooting should equal a lesser verdict of voluntary manslaughter. An impromptu meeting in a shopping center Hussle owned, led to a conversation between Hussle and Holder regarding the rumors that Holder had been acting as an informant for authorities. Jansen argued that being publicly accused of being a “snitch” by a person as prominent and beloved as Hussle brought on a “heat of passion” in Holder that prompted the shooting.
A woman who was with Holder that day snapped a photo with Hussle before becoming Holder’s unknowing getaway driver. She was a key witness for the prosecution.
Jansen said afterward that he was “deeply disappointed” in the verdict, which they planned to appeal. The sentencing, originally scheduled for September was postponed at the request of the defense. Now three years later, it is coming to an end.