by Terry Vermeulen Keith , City News Service
LOS ANGELES — A prosecutor told jurors on Wednesday that a man fired two guns at Nipsey Hussle outside the rapper’s clothing store in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles three years ago, while one of the defense attorneys admitted that his client killed him. The musician however said that the crime took place in the “heat of passion”.
Eric Ronald Holder Jr., 32, has been charged with murder for the March 31, 2019, murder of a 33-year-old rapper whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghdom.
Holder, an aspiring rapper, is also charged with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a criminal, as well as charges that he personally committed murder. from and intentionally discharged a handgun and he personally inflicted great bodily injury.
In his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told a Los Angeles jury that Holder “pulled out not one but two guns and began shooting” after a conversation with the rapper that included allegations of “snatching.” Prosecutors said the rapper told Holder that there was word on the street that he was “sneezing” but there was “no animosity” before Holder exited the parking lot and returned to the strip mall shortly thereafter.
“You can see him shooting with the left hand and the right hand,” the prosecutor said of the surveillance video.
The rapper was hit with at least 10 and possibly 11 bullets in an “explosion of violence”, McKinney said, noting that he was “shot from the bottom of his legs to the top of his head” and that he was a Would have been paraplegic if he survived because a bullet had crossed his spine.
According to the prosecutor, Holder allegedly told the fallen rapper, “You’re through,” and kicked him in the head before fleeing the scene.
McKinney told jurors that the two men grew up in a neighborhood claimed by a gang in South Los Angeles, and that they were recruited into the gang at a fairly young age.
Aaron Jensen, one of Holder’s attorneys, told the jurors, “It’s a matter of heat of passion.”
Defense attorneys, who were set to finish their opening statement Wednesday afternoon, admitted that their client “shot and killed” the rapper, that one bullet accidentally hit another person and that a third person was variable. may have gone.
He said Holder surrendered at a mental health clinic in Bellflower three days after the shooting.
Following Hussle’s death, thousands attended a service in his honor in April 2019, including singer Stevie Wonder and rapper Snoop Dogg, who paid tribute to him.
In a letter read during the service, former President Barack Obama wrote, “While most people look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets, and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw one.” Saw a community that, despite its flaws, taught him to keep going.
The rapper-entrepreneur was posthumously awarded two Grammy Awards in 2020 for Best Rap Performance for “Rack in the Middle” and Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Higher”.