Jurors convicted a man of first degree murder in the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle in a shooting that also injured two others in South Los Angeles
Holder, 32, was found guilty in the, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom. He was also convicted of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm involving two other people who were injured on March 31, 2019, while shooting outside the rapper’s Crenshaw District store called The Marathon, along with one. count of possession of a firearm by a criminal. Jurors also found genuine allegations that he personally and intentionally discharged a gun and personally inflicted serious bodily harm on one of the victims.
An exact motive for the shooting was never established during Holder’s trial.
But in closing arguments last Thursday, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney urged jurors to convict Holder of first degree murder for a “personal” assault on Hussle outside the musician’s clothing store near Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, and called the murder “cold-blooded” and “calculated”.
McKinney said Holder had “quite a bit of premeditation and deliberation” before returning to the parking lot, where Hussle was shot 10 to 11 times. The prosecutor described the two men as artists from the same neighborhood, but where Hussle had found commercial success, Holder had not.
“I’ll admit that the motive for killing Nipsey Hussle had little to do with the conversation they had… There’s already jealousy,” McKinney said, objecting to Holder’s attorney. “Saying ‘You’re done’, before shooting him and shooting him a number of times…kicking him in the head, that’s personal. What makes this murder first-degree is premeditated and consultation.”
Defense attorney Aaron Jansen admitted that at the beginning of the trial, his client “shot and killed” the rapper by firing one pistol in each hand, but claimed it happened in the “heat of passion.” Jansen called the case against his client “overcharged from the start,” and said the appropriate charge against Holder should be voluntary manslaughter — an option Supreme Court Justice H. Clay Jacke previously told jurors they would could consider.
The jurors heard eight days of testimony at the trial, which was postponed one day due to a† Jansen said his client lost consciousness after being attacked in a prison cell by other inmates with a razor while he waited to be brought to court.
The case was handed over to the jury for deliberation on Friday and resumed on Wednesday after the long holiday weekend. Holder will be sentenced on September 15.