Eric R Holder Jr, 33, was sentenced to at least 60 years in prison for the 2019 murder of Grammy-nominated hip hop artist Nipsey Hussle. Superior Court Judge H Clay Jacke II delivered the sentence on Wednesday after a month-long trial.
Holder had been found guilty of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
The killing of Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, stunned the music industry and his fans. The rapper, entrepreneur, and activist was shot multiple times in broad daylight outside his clothing store in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 31, 2019. Two others were injured in the shooting.
Holder, a former friend of Hussle, had approached the rapper outside the store and engaged in a brief conversation before pulling out a gun and opening fire. He fled the scene but was captured two days later in Bellflower, a nearby city.
During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Holder had a personal motive for the killing, as he had been involved in a dispute with Hussle earlier that day.
The defense argued that the evidence was circumstantial and that there were inconsistencies in the eyewitness testimony.
In delivering the sentence, Judge Jacke expressed his condolences to Hussle’s family and praised the rapper’s contributions to his community. He also emphasized the severity of Holder’s actions and the need for justice.
Holder’s sentence of 60 years to life means that he will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 60 years in prison. The sentence is the maximum possible under California law for first-degree murder.
The sentencing brings some closure to the tragic loss of Nipsey Hussle, but his legacy as a talented artist, dedicated entrepreneur, and committed community leader will continue to inspire and influence generations to come.