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Nipsey Hussle's killer convicted of first-degree murder

Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle. (Courtesy) 

A Los Angeles court on Wednesday found Eric R. Holder Jr. guilty of first-degree murder of acclaimed Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle. 

The 33-year-old fatally shot Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, on March 31, 2019, outside his Marathon clothing store in LA, his hometown, while signing autographs. 

According to reports, Holder confronted the rapper in a brief conversation and then departed, but returned several minutes later and shot Hussle 11 times. The rapper was one of three men who were injured in the attack and the only one of the three not to survive.

In addition to the murder conviction, the jury also found Holder guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter for the shooting of two bystanders. Holder was found guilty on one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and faces a possible life sentence set for September 15, 2022.

Holder’s attorney Aaron Jansen had argued during the trial that the killing was an impulsive act in the “heat of passion, “saying he should be convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter. However, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney countered the murder as “calculated” and “cold-blooded.”

According to McKinney, Hussle “wanted to change the neighborhood. He kept the same friends. And the neighborhood loved him. They called him Neighborhood Nip.”

Holder was recently in the news after he was attacked by other inmates who reportedly beat him and cut him with a razor, according to his lawyer Jansen. Holder was hospitalized, which led to the trial’s delay during the last week.

Nipsey Hussle was nominated for a Grammy for his acclaimed album, Victory Lap, months before he was killed. He won his first Grammy in 2020 in the Best Rap/Sung Performance for his feature in DJ Khaled’s “Higher” and Best Rap Performance for “Racks in the Middle,” released a few weeks before his demise.

Hussle’s death sent shockwaves worldwide and in the music industry.