LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday sentenced the man convicted of shooting Nipsey Hussle to 60 years to life after hearing testimony about the immense cost of the murder of the hip-hop star and neighborhood leader, and the life of mental illness, abuse and struggle of the man who killed him shot it.
Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke II handed down the sentence against Eric R. Holder Jr., 33, who was convicted of the 2019 first-degree murder of the 33-year-old hip-hop artist nominated for Grammy Awards outside clothing store founded by Hussle, the Marathonin the southern district of Los Angeles where the two men grew up in very similar circumstances.
“I am very mindful of what has been presented regarding Mr. Holder’s mental health,” Jacke said. “I am also aware of the devastation caused to the victims and their families. I believe this sentence balances the two.
After the month-long trial, jurors in July also found Holder guilty of two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a firearm for shots that struck two other men on places that have survived.
Jacke sentenced Holder to 25 years to life for the murder, 25 more years for an enhanced gun sentence, and 10 for assault with a firearm. He established several other additions to the sentence and ordered others to be executed concurrently. He also paid tribute to Holder for the nearly four years he has served since the shooting.
Holder, dressed in orange prison gear, stared straight ahead throughout the proceedings and did not react when the sentence was read, and spoke only to tell the judge that he understood the circumstances when asked.
In an impact statement before sentencing, Herman “Cowboy” Douglas, a close friend of Hussle who stood by him when he was killed and testified during the trial, told the judge that the murder was a huge loss for him. personally and for the South Los Angeles community where Hussle was a business leader and inspiration.
“Nipsey was my friend, he was like a son, he was like a father,” said Douglas, who took off his black cowboy hat as he entered the courtroom and wore a sweatshirt with a picture on it. of Hussle on the front. “Our community right now, we’ve lost everything, everything we worked for. One man’s mistake, one man’s action, has ruined an entire community.
Douglas said Hussle’s store and surrounding businesses he owned and supported have been closed, meaning “the Homies have nothing to do.”
Douglas told the judge, “I don’t care what you give this guy. It’s not a question of time. I just want to know why. The world wants to know why. Why would anyone do that?
Actor Lauren London, who was Hussle’s partner and mother of his two young children, did not attend any part of the trial, nor any of his relatives, and none made similar impact statements.
Asking for a lesser sentence of 25 years to life that would provide a chance for release and rehabilitation, Jansen detailed a childhood of physical abuse and poverty for Holder.
When he reached adulthood, Jansen said Holder had suffered “a terrible descent into mental illness” that led to “years of torment and struggle” with issues including distressing auditory hallucinations that resisted all attempts at treatment.
He showed photos of a head injury Holder suffered at the hands of other inmates during the trial, saying he was targeted as Hussle’s killer and his life behind bars “is going to be brutal “. It’s gonna be short. He has already received numerous death threats.
Jansen also read a letter from Holder’s father, Eric Holder Sr., apologizing to Hussle’s family and other victims.
“I know there aren’t enough words to fill the void, the pain, the deep sorrow they feel,” the letter read. “I wonder every day if I, as a father, did everything to help Eric Jr. stabilize his mental health.”
Hussle, whose legal name is Ermias Asghedom, and Holder had known each other for years as members 60s Rollin’ in South Los Angeles. Both were aspiring rappers. But Holder never met with the same success as Hussle, who would become a local hero and national celebrity.
A year after his death, he was mourned at a memorial at the arena then known as Staples Center, and celebrated with a performance at the Grammy Awards. which included DJ Khaled and John Legend.
The evidence against Holder was so overwhelming — from eyewitnesses to local business surveillance cameras that filmed his arrival, the shooting and his departure — that Jansen admitted during the trial that he had shot Hussle, asking jurors to convict him of intentional homicide. But the jurors took only six hours to deliberate before returning with the verdict of first degree murder.
As Holder was led from the courtroom on Wednesday, Douglas sang “Hit the Road Jack” towards him. Jacke shouted “Out!” and the deputies led Douglas out.
Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton