The Nipsey Hussle murder trial began Wednesday (June 15) with the jury selection and hearing opening statements that alluded to Hussle’s killer’s actions being premeditated, The Associated Press reports.
During opening statements, Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said, “There’s no doubt Eric R. Holder knew in advance that he would kill Hussle.” Describing the sequence of events leading up to the shooting, McKinney made sure to mention the dialogue about “snitching,” between Hussle and Holder moments before the murder, which happened in 2019 in the South Los Angeles neighborhood that Holder lived in and Hussle tried to revamp. Two others bystanders were also wounded in the shooting that day.
Revealing that Holder shot Hussle 10 times and also kicked the rapper in the head before fleeing the scene, McKinney pushed to convince the jurors that, “He clearly thought about what he was going to do before he did it.” Premeditated murder isn’t an idea that surfaced out of thin air. The prosecutors also let the jury know that Holder’s accusations of being a “snitch” was something that Holder passionately felt some way about and could not let go.
McKinney mentioned to the court that Hussle and his two friends were having a conversation with Holder at the store and that Hussle didn’t have his security with him before the shooting. Witness and ex-gang member Herman “Cowboy” Douglas, who worked at The Marathon Clothing Store, gave a statement in court that Hussle didn’t use the actual word “snitch” while listening in on the conversation between Holder and the Victory Lap rapper. Douglas perceived the conversation to be more of a lesson that Hussle was trying to give Holder in a “chill” manner. He then added that Holder asked Hussle if he had heard any of his recent music and didn’t sense the conversation going left-field between both men.
“He [Hussle] was saying, ‘I heard there was some paperwork floating around,’” he recalled. Douglas had various duties at The Marathon Store and also had a close relationship with Hussle which he considered to be like a big-brother-little-brother mentorship. Douglas included that according to Hussle, he hadn’t seen any paperwork on Holder but advised Holder to “take care of that.”
Bryannita Nicholson, who served as the getaway driver for Holder, also testified in court giving more detail into the notion that the murder was indeed premeditated. Before the shooting took place, Nicholson and Holder were eating nearby Hussle’s store which provoked Holder to go and visit. McKinney suggested that the conversation about “snitching” moved Holder to a point of wanting to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle. She also added that Holder demanded she drive their getaway car. “Drive before I slap you,” she alleged.
The trial is expected to continue for two more weeks before the jury’s verdict.
Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down in the parking lot of his Marathon Clothing Store on March 31, 2019. He was 33 years old. Eric Holder was indicted on one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Holder, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to life in prison if convicted.