LOS ANGELES - Eric Holder Jr., the man convicted of murdering Grammy-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle in a 2019 shooting in South Los Angeles, was sentenced Wednesday to 60 years to life in prison with credit for the 1,423 days already served.
Holder's sentencing hearing had been postponed several times since last September. In December, Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke rejected a defense motion to reduce Holder's conviction to second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter and turned down the defense's bid for a new trial.
In July, a Los Angeles County jury convicted Holder Jr. of first-degree murder in the killing of Hussle outside his clothing store in March 2019. Holder was also convicted of attempted voluntary manslaughter for injuring two bystanders in the incident, along with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Jurors also found true allegations that he personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on one of the victims.
A jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching the verdict.
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The shooting followed a conversation the two men had about rumors that Holder had been acting as an informant for authorities. Jansen argued that being publicly accused of being a "snitch" by a person as prominent as Hussle brought on a "heat of passion" in Holder that made him not guilty of first-degree murder.
Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, and Holder had known each other for years growing up as members of the Rollin’ 60s in South Los Angeles when a chance meeting outside the clothing store the rapper opened in his neighborhood led to the shooting, and his death.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney called the killing "cold-blooded" and "calculated," saying that Holder had "quite a bit of time for premeditation and deliberation" before returning to the parking lot near Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard where the rapper was shot 10 to 11 times.
After Hussle's death, thousands of people were on hand in April 2019 for a service in his honor, with singer Stevie Wonder and rapper Snoop Dogg among those paying tribute to him.
In a letter that was read during the service, former President Barack Obama wrote, "While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going."
Hussle had just released his major-label debut album and earned his first Grammy nomination when he was killed.
The rapper-entrepreneur was posthumously honored with two Grammy Awards in 2020 for best rap performance for "Racks in the Middle" and for best rap/sung performance for "Higher."
The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.