Nipsey Hussle's Killer, Eric Holder, Murder Verdict Revealed

A Los Angeles jury found Eric Holder guilty of first-degree murder in the 2019 shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle on Wednesday. Holder, 32, was also found guilty on two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter because two other men were hit by gunfire. Hussle was shot and killed outside his Marathon clothing store on March 31, 2019. He was 33.

The jury deliberated for just over a half-hour on Wednesday, after five hours of discussions on Friday, reports NBC Los Angeles. Prosecutors charged Holder with two counts of attempted murder, but Holder's attorney asked the jury to find his client guilty on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter because Holder was acting in the "heat of passion" at the time of the shooting.

Holder's attorney, Aaron Jansen, acknowledged he shot and killed Hussle. He said the shooting happened after Holder and Hussle spoke about rumors Holder was an informant to police. "That heat of passion consisted of being called publicly a snitch by someone as famous as Nipsey Hussle," Jensen told the jury. "This is a provocation that stirs up rage and powerful emotion."

During closing arguments on Thursday, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John McKinney noted that Holder and Hussle were both members of the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips gang. McKinney highlighted Hussle's relationship with the South Los Angeles neighborhood and the changes he made in his life.

"He was no longer a gangbanger. He was a world-known recording artist and so much more," McKinney said. "It really is a shame that his life was so brutally and coldly taken, on his own property, in his own neighborhood, by someone from his own gang. By somebody that he considered a friend."

Jansen said Holder was also trying to escape gang life and avoided the neighborhood for years. On the day of the shooting, he only visited Hussle's store to get food nearby. The two men ran into each other and Hussle brought up the rumors Holder was a snitch, Jansen said. Holder left the scene before returning 10 minutes later to open fire. Videos and photos shown during the trial showed Holder fleeing the scene after shooting Hussle at least 10 times, notes NBC News.

McKinney disagreed that the conversation was the motive for the shooting, telling the jury there was "already a preexisting jealousy or envy" Holder had before he spoke with Hussle that day. The prosecutor also said the 10-minute gap between the conversation and Holder's return with a weapon was evidence of premeditated murder. "He thought about it and he did it," McKinney said. "That's all premeditated means. It doesn't mean he planned it for weeks." Jansen argued that 10 minutes was "a short period of time for such a serious, life-threatening provocation" and asked the jury to find Holder guilty of voluntary manslaughter instead of first-degree murder.

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Hussle's death came a year after he released his major-label debut album, Victory Lap. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart after Hussle's death. It was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards in 2019. The 2020 Grammys ceremony included a tribute to Hussle, with DJ Khaled, Kirk Franklin, John Legend, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, and YG performing "Letter to Nipsey" and "Higher." Hussle is survived by his two daughters, Emani and Kross Ermias.