On Monday, a California judge denied an attempt by Eric Holder Jr.’s defense lawyer to have his first-degree murder conviction reduced for the killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke also denied a defense motion for a new trial for Eric Holder Jr., whose sentencing was scheduled for February 22.
According to NBC Los Angeles, defense attorney Aaron Jansen filed a motion for a second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter conviction. In the motion, he stated that a voluntary manslaughter conviction would “be consistent with the other two verdicts” Holder received for attempted voluntary manslaughter rather than attempted murder for injuring two other people in the March 2019 shooting.
Holder was found guilty of first-degree murder, gun possession by a felon, two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, and assault with a firearm on July 6 in the shooting death of the Grammy Award-winning rapper in front of his South Los Angeles clothing store on March 31, 2019.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney called Holder’s shooting of Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, “cold-blooded” and “calculated.” He shot the rapper ten to eleven times.
“Saying, ‘You’re through,’ before shooting him and shooting him a number of times … kicking him in the head, that’s personal … What makes this murder first-degree is premeditation and deliberation,” the prosecutor said, NBC reports.
Holder’s defense team admitted that he did shoot Asghedom but said it was not premeditated. Instead, they say it was done in the “heat of passion.” The defense told the jury that Holder shot the rapper nine minutes and ten seconds after he was “publicly called a snitch by someone as famous as Nipsey Hussle,” claiming Holder had “no cooling-off period.”
Holder faces life in prison.