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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Witnesses shamble at trial of man accused of shooting rapper Nipsey Hussle

A warrant has been issued for a witness to the murder of rapper Nipsey Hussle after they failed to testify at the alleged shooter’s trial.

van “Rimpau” Mackenzie, a close friend of Hussle who carried the coffin at his funeral and stood by him when he was shot, repeatedly ignored subpoenas directing him to appear and testify for the prosecution.

This led Judge H. Clay Jacke II to issue a court order with a $500,000 (£407,475) bail.

In the absence of Mr Mackenzie, a police detective testified about the unwillingness of the witnesses, who ended the case.

“Mr Mackenzie, did he express an unwillingness to testify?” Aaron Jansen, attorney for defendant Eric Holder, asked LAPD Detective Cedric Washington, who said Mr. Mackenzie had said the same thing on the phone.

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Defendant Eric Holder listens to opening statements in a murder trial. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com/ Associated Press)

The “snitch” taboo has permeated every part of the trial of Holder, who is charged with first-degree murder since Hussle’s death in 2019 and attempted murder after two bystanders were hit by gunshots.

It was a conversation between Holder and Hussle on the subject, in which Hussle told Holder that there were rumors of “documents” suggesting that he had spoken to the authorities, which prosecutors believe was Holder’s motive to return in a few minutes to shoot Hussle.

The shooting took place in a predominantly black area of ​​South Los Angeles, where both the men and most of the witnesses grew up, and where distrust of the police and the courts is deeply rooted.

Even Hussle’s friends and fans, as well as the people who had been shot by Holder, were reluctant to speak in public.

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“I don’t know anything, I don’t see anything,” Kerry Lathan, who was injured in the shooting, said last week as a witness, refusing to identify himself in CCTV footage that was shown to the jury.

He then declined to name Holder as the shooter.

“You don’t want to testify about what happened?” asked Deputy District Attorney John McKinney.

“Yes,” said Mr. Lathan.

On Thursday, Jansen tried to link Holder and Hussle’s doubts to the Rollin’ ’60s street gang.

“Is there usually a reluctance to testify in gang cases?” Mr. Jansen asked.

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Deputy District Attorney John McKinney delivers opening remarks (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com/ Associated Press)

“I would not limit myself to gang affairs,” Washington replied.

“I’m asking about bandit business,” Jansen said.

“I believe this is common, yes,” Washington said.

Mr. Jansen continued, “Several of the witnesses in this case said they didn’t want to go to court and they felt their families would be in danger, right?”

Mr. Washington admitted that there were.

In subsequent questions from prosecutors, Mr. Washington downplayed the gang.

“I’ve handled a lot of cases outside of gang cases. I’ve found that most people don’t want to go to court or talk to law enforcement,” Mr. Washington said.

“Everyone seems to think that if they go to court, they will be punished.”

“Were there any threats against witnesses in this case who accused them of denunciations?” Mr McKinney asked.

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Judge H. Clay Jacke listens during trial. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com/ Associated Press)

“Are you aware of any harm done to anyone in this case for being a witness or talking to the police?”

Mr. Washington answered “no” to both questions, admitting that an anonymous caller to Bryanita Nicholson threatened her last week.

Ms Nicholson, who was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony, kept her identity under wraps when she testified before a grand jury in 2019.

Last week, after her identity was revealed, but before she appeared before a witness, she received a call.

“A male voice was heard saying something like, ‘You killed Nipsey Hussle,’” Washington said. Brianita hung up.

Mr. McKinney emphasized that the threat was not about her testifying, but about her role in Hussle’s death.

Ms Nicholson was given extra security and was escorted through a special entrance this week for two days of testimony, during which she appeared to speak fluently and confidently without showing resistance.

Others were much more hesitant and silent in their testimony, although several eyewitnesses identified Holder as the shooter, so it is unlikely that the absence and silence of other witnesses would do much damage to the powerful prosecution case.

The defense admitted that Holder shot Hussle, but says it was not intentional and he is not guilty of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors have one more witness before they finish their case, and the jury can get it soon.

“If Rimpau is not taken away,” McKinney said after the trial.

World Nation News Desk
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