A jury is hearing opening statements today in the trial of a man charged with murdering Nipsey Hussle outside the rapper’s clothing store in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles just over three years ago.
A 12-person panel that was sworn in Monday to hear the case of Eric Ronald Holder Jr. is due back in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom, along with six alternate jurors who were chosen Tuesday in case any of the original jurors have to be replaced during the trial.
Holder, now 32, was indicted in May of 2019 on one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm.
The indictment also included allegations that Holder personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the grand jury in 2019 that Holder used two guns on March 31, 2019, to fire multiple shots shortly after a conversation that included allegations of “snitching.”
The prosecutor told the grand jury the defendant walked up to a group including Hussle — whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom — and the ensuing discussion “had something to do with Mr. Asghedom accusing Mr. Holder of snitching, which, in the gang world, is a very serious offense.”
“Apparently the conversation had something to do with Mr. Asghedom telling Mr. Holder that word on the street was that Mr. Holder was snitching. The conversation wasn’t particularly intense, it wasn’t particularly belligerent, and it lasted for about four minutes,” the prosecutor told the grand jury while noting later that the conversation was “enough that it moved Eric Holder to a point of wanting to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle.”
Deputy Medical Examiner Lawrence Nguyen told the grand jury that the rapper suffered 11 gunshot wounds, although two of the wounds could have been caused by the same bullet, according to a grand jury transcript.
Two other men, who are named as the victims in the attempted murder and assault with firearm charges, were injured.
Holder — an aspiring rapper — was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on April 2, 2019, in the 9000 block of Artesia Boulevard in Bellflower after a witness called authorities to report seeing a person believed to be Holder. He has remained in jail since then.