Nipsey Hussle’s accused killer attacked with razor in jail, lawyer says
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The man on trial for fatally shooting rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019 was attacked Monday morning in a jail holding cell, his attorney told CBS News. Lawyer Aaron Jansen said Eric Holder was attacked by “multiple individuals,” one of whom had a razor.
“Mr. Holder, Jr. was assaulted by multiple individuals while he was in the holding cell at the jail while waiting to be brought to court yesterday morning,” Jansen said. “The attack included a razor and the back of his head was cut.”
Holder was hospitalized after the attack and received an MRI and staples in the back of his head, Jansen said. He said he has since discussed “specific steps” with the judge to keep Holder safe, but did not elaborate.
The judge sent the jury home on Tuesday due to “unforeseen circumstances,” CBS Los Angeles reported. Jansen said the case was scheduled to resume with witnesses Wednesday.
Hussle was fatally shot outside of the clothing store he owned in Los Angeles in March 2019. The Grammy-nominated West Coast rapper, born Ermias Asghedom, was 33 at the time of his death.
Holder, 32, was charged with one count of first degree-murder in relation to Hussle’s death. He was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder because two bystanders were hit by gunfire, according to The Associated Press.
When the case came to trial in 2022, prosecutors claimed Holder’s attack on Hussle was calculated and premeditated, with Deputy District Attorney John McKinney saying there was “no doubt” Holder knew he’d kill Hussle, the AP reported. McKinney told the jury that Holder shot Hussle at least 10 times and kicked him in the head before running away, the AP said.
McKinney attributed the shooting to a dispute between the pair, saying Hussle had heard Holder was a snitch and wanted to “clear that up,” the AP said. He said the pair, along with two of Hussle’s friends, had a “cool conversation” with Holder prior to the attack, noting Hussle didn’t have any security with him when he visited his store.
Jansen told the jury that Holder didn’t plan to kill Hussle and didn’t mean to shoot two other people at all, saying the shooting was the result of “heated passion,” the AP reported.
Though multiple eyewitnesses have identified Holder, many others have been reluctant to testify, which one police official attributed to a fear of being seen as a snitch, the AP said.