A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday sentenced the man convicted of gunning down rapper Nipsey Hussle to 60 years to life in prison.
Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke II handed down the of-delayed sentence to Eric R. Holder Jr., 33, who was found guilty of the 2019 first-degree murder of the 33-year-old Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist outside the clothing store Hussle founded, the Marathon, in the South Los Angeles neighbourhood.
Holder shot Nipsey in broad daylight back in 2019, and the brutal details were outlined at trial, with prosecutors telling the jury Holder kicked Nipsey in the head after riddling his body with bullets, claiming it was proof the attack was personal.
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After the month-long trial, jurors in July also convicted Holder of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a firearm for gunfire that hit two other men at the scene who survived.
Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke handed down the sentence Wednesday after hearing from one of Hussle’s friends and listening to a letter from Holder’s father that was read in court. Holder, dressed in orange jail attire, stared straight ahead throughout the proceedings and did not react when the sentence was read.
Holder was not eligible for the death penalty. He was nearly certain to get a sentence that would guarantee he would spend the rest of his life in prison, with only the details of his term in question.
The sentencing has been delayed in part so defense attorney Aaron Jansen could argue to reduce Holder’s conviction to manslaughter or second-degree murder, which Jacke rejected in December.
Nipsey Hussle, whose legal name is Ermias Asghedom, and Holder had known each other for years growing up as members of the Rollin’ 60s in South LA. Both were aspiring rappers. But Holder never found the same success as Hussle, who would become a local hero and a national celebrity.
Actress Lauren London, Hussle’s partner and the mother of his two young children, did not attend any part of the trial, nor did any of his relatives, and none are expected to give victim impact statements, as often happens at such hearings.