Nipsey Hussle

The killer of Nipsey Hussle was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison.

A Los Angeles judge sentenced the man convicted of shooting Nipsey Hussle to 60 years to life in prison on Wednesday, after hearing testimony about the enormous cost of the hip-hop star and neighborhood leader’s death, as well as the man who shot him’s lifetime of mental illness, abuse, and struggle.

 

Eric R. Holder Jr., 33, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke II for the 2019 first-degree murder of the 33-year-old Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist outside the Marathon clothing store Hussle founded in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where both men grew up in very similar circumstances.

 

“I am quite concerned about Mr. Holder’s mental health,” Jacke stated. “I am also aware of the grief inflicted on the victims and their relatives. “I believe this sentence strikes a good balance between the two.”

 

In July, jurors convicted Holder of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a handgun for gunshots that hit two other males at the scene who lived.

 

Holder was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for murder, an additional 25 years for a firearm sentencing enhancement, and ten years for assault with a firearm. He added many other sentences and ordered that others run concurrently. He also praised Holder for the nearly four years he has been in prison since the shooting.

 

Holder, clothed in orange jail garb, stared straight ahead throughout the proceedings, did not react when the punishment was read, and only spoke to the judge when asked if he understood the facts.

 

Herman “Cowboy” Douglas, a close friend of Hussle who was standing with him when he was killed and testified during the trial, told the judge in an impact statement before the sentence was handed down that the killing was a tremendous loss both for him personally and for the South Los Angeles community where Hussle was a business leader and an inspiration.

 

“Nipsey was my friend, he was like a son, he was like a father,” Douglas said as he entered the courtroom, taking off his black cowboy hat and wearing a sweatshirt with a photo of Hussle on the front. “Right now, our community has lost everything, all we have worked for. One man’s error, one man’s deed, ruined an entire town.”

 

Hussle’s store and nearby companies, which he owned and supported, have been closed down, according to Douglas, leaving “the Homies with nothing to do.”

“I don’t care what you give this person,” Douglas told the judge. It’s not about the clock. I’m just curious as to why. The entire globe is curious as to why. “Why would someone do that?”

 

Hussle’s partner and mother of his two young children, actress Lauren London, did not attend the trial, nor did any of his relatives, and none gave similar impact statements.

 

Jansen recounted Holder’s upbringing of physical abuse and poverty in her request for a reduced sentence of 25 years to life with the possibility of release and rehabilitation.

Jansen claimed Holder experienced “a catastrophic spiral into mental illness” as an adult, leading to “years of anguish and struggle” with issues such as severe auditory hallucinations that rejected all attempts at treatment.

 

He presented images of a head injury Holder got at the hands of other inmates during the trial, saying he has been targeted as Hussle’s killer and that his life behind bars is “going to be horrible. It’s going to be brief. He’s already been threatened with death.”

 

Jansen also read a letter from Holder’s father, Eric Holder Sr., in which he apologized to Hussle and the other victims.

 

“I know there aren’t enough words to express the void, sadness, and great sorrow that they feel,” the letter said. “Every day, I ask myself if I have done everything I could as a father to assist Eric Jr. stable his mental health.”

 

Hussle, whose legal name is Ermias Asghedom, and Holder grew up together in South LA as members of the Rollin’ 60s. They were both aspiring rappers. Holder, on the other hand, never achieved the same level of success as Hussle, who became a local hero as well as national fame.

 

A year after his death, he was remembered at a memorial at the Staples Center and honored in a Grammy Awards performance alongside DJ Khaled and John Legend.

The evidence against Holder was so compelling — from eyewitnesses to security cameras from local businesses that documented his arrival, the shooting, and his exit — that Jansen admitted at the trial that he had shot Hussle and asked jurors to convict him of voluntary manslaughter. But, jurors deliberated for only six hours before coming with the first-degree murder decision.

 

Douglas sung “Hit the Road Jack” to Holder as he was led out the courthouse on Wednesday. “Out!” yelled Jacke, and deputies escorted Douglas away.

 

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