Eric Holder, the man convicted of murdering rapper Nipsey Hussle in Los Angeles in March 2019, was sentenced today (Feb. 22) to 60 years to life in prison for the crime. Holder was also found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter due to the fact that two others were injured the gunfire outside of Hussle’s Marathon Clothing store.
Holder’s attorneys spent the past several months attempting to have his charges reduced to manslaughter or second-degree murder, a move rejected by Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke at a December hearing.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney previously said that for Hussle, whose real name was Airmiess Joseph Asghedom, “the streets he used to run as a young man became the life material that he used to become a voice of those same streets. While some people get successful, they make money, they leave their neighborhood, they change their address, this man was different. He wanted to change the neighborhood. He invested in the neighborhood. He kept the same friends and the neighborhood loved him. They called him Neighborhood Nip.”
Hussle was called “a favorite son” of South Los Angeles by the prosecutor, and one who overcame the “pockets of concentrated poverty” and plights by gangs within his Hyde Park community. Hussle went on to become a hugely successful rapper with a series of hit underground mixtapes, as well as an entrepreneur, beloved community figure, and philanthropist.
At Holder’s trial last June, he admitted through his public defender, Aaron Jansen, that he fired 10 or 11 bullets at Hussle but that the attack was not premeditated. Jansen claimed his client acted in the “heat of passion” after the men had a conversation in the Marathon parking lot. Hussle allegedly mentioned a rumor that there was “paperwork” on Holder, which in gang parlance means a record showing someone is a police informant. Jansen said Holder took the allegation as a “snitch jacket” that threatened his life.
Hussle was at the peak of his career when he was killed. A month before he died, he attended the 2019 Grammys, where his acclaimed debut, Victory Album, was nominated for best rap album. The following year, he was awarded two posthumous Grammys for his songs “Racks in the Middle” and “Higher.”