A judge declared on Wednesday that the man convicted of shooting rapper Nipsey Hussle dead would be sentenced to 60 years to life in prison. When the defense attorney, Aaron Jansen, battled for a lesser conviction and submitted a motion for a new trial, hearings were postponed for several months before his sentence, which was lowered as anticipated. Late last year, both bids were rejected by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke.
Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, was shot and killed outside of his Marathon clothing store in South Los Angeles in March 2019. Eric R. Holder, Jr., 33, was found guilty and sentenced to death in July. Hussle passed away at the age of 33. The punishment for a murder conviction alone ranges from 25 years to life in prison.
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During the shooting, two spectators were also shot and injured by gunfire. Holder was found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, a crime that carries far less punishment than first-degree murder. The defense claimed in December that Holder’s conviction for Hussle’s murder ought to be lowered to voluntary manslaughter. “to be consistent with the other two verdicts.”
At the murder trial, the prosecution claimed that the attack was premeditated and was the result of an earlier argument between Holder and Hussle. John McKinney, a deputy district attorney, stated that there was “no doubt.” According to the Associated Press, Holder admitted to the court that he had planned to murder Hussle and shot the rapper at least ten times and given him a head kick before fleeing the scene. Due to their shared experience as aspiring rappers growing up in South Los Angeles, Holder, and Hussle had known one another for many years previous to the fatal shooting.
McKinney said the argument stemmed from Hussle hearing that Holder was a snitch and wanted to “clear that up,” the AP reported. McKinney said the pair, along with two of Hussle’s friends, had a “cool conversation” previous to the assault, noting that Hussle didn’t bring any security when he went to Holder’s store.
Aaron Jansen, Holder’s attorney, stated that the homicide had not been planned and cited “heated passion” The AP reported that as the cause of the assault. Jansen claimed that Holder accidently shot both onlookers.
Hussle, a Grammy-nominated artist, entrepreneur, and community advocate whose death devastated Los Angeles and generated a cascade of tributes from fans, celebrities, and political leaders, was lauded after Holder’s conviction in July by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
“Nipsey Hussle was a beloved member of our community,” Gascón said in a statement, noting that improved local education and violence prevention was at the forefront of Hussle’s public platform, and he had already taken significant steps to address both issues prior to his death. “His legacy will continue to inspire our work,” Gascón added.
More than three years after the shooting, Hussle was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August. His nomination for a Grammy “Victory Lap,” published in 2018, received a double-platinum award on its fifth anniversary last week.
In a heartfelt memorial at the 2020 Grammys, Hussle was also remembered alongside basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who passed just 10 months after the rapper in a helicopter crash.