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The man who pulled the trigger killing beloved Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle has now been convicted of his murder.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was shot to death on March 31, 2019 in the parking lot outside his clothing store, The Marathon, in South Los Angeles. The hip hop icon and father of two was only 33 years old.
During the trial, Holder was depicted as a former acquaintance of Hussle; they used to belong to the same gang, according to the New York Times. Their relationship had soured, however, after Holder felt disrespected by the famous rapper shortly before the shooting. Holder became enraged over accusations that he was a snitch and a heated conversation in the parking lot of the store ensued, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said during the trial, NBC News reported.
Whether or not Holder pulled the trigger was never up for debate. Even his own lawyer identified him as the shooter. However, the defense denied that the murder was premeditated and instead claimed it was a crime “of passion,” according to the New York Times.
Holder used two handguns to kill the rapper, striking him with bullets at least 10 times. Then, according to accounts, he kicked him in the head.
The jury decided the attack was premeditated; after an initial confrontation with Hussle, Holder had returned to his car, loaded a gun and then came back, opening fire.
Hussle, a former gang member, had given back to the community with his fame. An advocate against gun violence, he was preparing to meet with investigators to talk about programs to curb gang violence before he died, according to NBC News. He owned several businesses and worked on community development in his former neighborhood of Crenshaw.
During his funeral, a letter from former President Barack Obama stated "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."
Holder faces possible life in prison.
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