Three years after Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles, California, his alleged killer has been found guilty of his murder.
On Wednesday (July 6), a jury of nine women and three men found Eric Ronald Holder Jr. guilty of first-degree murder. They found Holder acted with premeditation when he opened fire on Hussle using a semiautomatic handgun in one hand and a silver revolver in the other during an ambush on March 31, 2019.
In closing arguments last week, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney highlighted the loss of Hussle not only to his South Los Angeles community but to his family, who chose not to attend the trial.
“The streets he used to run as a young man became the life material that he used to become a voice of those same streets. While some people get successful, they make money, they leave their neighborhood, they change their address, this man was different. He wanted to change the neighborhood. He invested in the neighborhood. He kept the same friends and the neighborhood loved him. They called him Neighborhood Nip. He was a father, he was a son, he was a brother, he was a human being,” McKinney said.
He then showed a photograph of Hussle crouched down, taking photos with a young child outside the store moments before he was shot.
As the trial got underway, Holder admitted through his public defender he fired about 10 or 11 shots which struck the rapper from the top of his head down to his feet. But Holder’s defense attorney argued for voluntary manslaughter, not premeditated murder, stating Holder acted in a “heat of passion” triggered by a conversation Hussle and he had some nine minutes before the fatal shots were fired. According to Holder, the conversation was regarding a rumor he had “paperwork” on him as a police informant.
“Think about Eric’s state of mind at this point. ‘I just came over to say hello, haven’t been around for a while. I’m just waiting for my order to be ready. I’m not involved in that lifestyle anymore. And the famous – the great – Nipsey Hussle is saying that they have paperwork on me. What’s this guy’s angle? Why’s he doing it? Why is he doing it in this public manner?’”
McKinney argued the conversation between the two wasn’t hostile and Holder had more than enough time to let the conversation go and not open fire.
“There’s plenty of evidence of premeditation and deliberation,” McKinney argued.
Hussle was killed a month after he attended the Grammys in Los Angeles with his girlfriend Lauren London and daughter Emani to celebrate his Victory Lap debut album. He was celebrated in a memorial service at Staples Center where speakers often told the audience, “The Marathon Continues.”