A member of one of the largest gangs in the U.S. was sentenced to 60 years in prison Wednesday for killing Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019.
Eric Holder Jr., 32, was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke to 25 years for murder, another 25 years for a gun enhancement conviction, and an additional 10 years on assault convictions for shooting two other men who were with Hussle at the time of his murder, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Holder, a member of the Crips gang, approached Hussle in front of the rapper’s store, Marathon Clothing, while on a date with a woman on March 31, 2019. The two men talked briefly before walking away from each other, but Holder returned minutes later with two handguns and shot Hussle to death in broad daylight.
Hussle rose to national stardom following the release of his Grammy-nominated 2018 debut album “Victory Lap.” He was open about his past involvement in a South Los Angeles gang. Despite his rough upbringing, Hussle (born Ermias Asghedom) had become a pillar in the community, generously donating his resources and employing many in the area through a handful of stores, including Marathon Clothing.
Herman Douglas, a close friend of the late star, spoke during Wednesday’s sentencing, mourning the loss of Hussle’s positive effect on the community, the LA Times reported.
“Our community right now, we lost everything. Everything we worked for. … thousands of jobs we don’t have no more. Homies don’t have nothing to do. They backsliding, they robbing people now,” Douglas said. “All our stores are closed down. The whole community relied on Nip.”
Both Holder and Hussle were members of the Rollin’ 60s segment of the Crips street gang, one of the largest gangs in Los Angeles. Last year, Holder’s defense attorney Aaron Jansen argued that his client was “triggered” by Hussle accusing Holder of snitching in front of other gang members. Jansen said that Holder became irrational after Hussle’s accusation and argued that his client should be convicted of manslaughter instead of murder.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said that Holder was struggling to gain traction as a rapper and was jealous of Hussle’s success.
After the judge sentenced Holder to 60 years in prison, Douglas began singing “Hit the Road, Jack” before the judge ordered him to be removed from the courtroom.
John Bickley contributed to this report.