LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday sentenced the man who shot and killed Nipsey Huss. The hip-hop star and neighborhood leader was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison after hearing testimony about the enormous cost of the murder and the lifelong mental illness, abuse and struggle of his shooter.
Eric R., who was convicted in 2019 of the first-degree murder of the 33-year-old Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist. For Holder Jr., 33-year-old High Court Judge H. Clay Jack II served a delayed sentence. Outside the clothing store established by Hassel, MarathonBoth grew up in similar circumstances in a South Los Angeles neighborhood.
“I’m very careful about Mr. Holder’s mental health,” Jack said. “I also remember the devastation to the victims and their families. I believe this sentence balances both.
After a month-long trial, jurors in July convicted Holder of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a firearm for the shooting.
Jack sentenced Holder to 25 years to life for murder, an additional 25 for aggravated assault and 10 for assault with a firearm. He set up several penal additions and ordered others to run concurrently. He also gave Holder credit for nearly four years of work since the shooting.
Holder, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, looked straight ahead throughout the proceedings, did not react as the sentence was read, and spoke only as he understood when asked by the judge.
In an impact statement before the sentencing, Herman “Cowboy” Douglas, a close friend of Huszl who stood and testified with him when he was killed, told the judge that the killing was his greatest loss. Hassell was a business leader and an inspiration both personally and to the South Los Angeles community.
“Nipsey is my friend, he’s like a son, he’s like a father,” Douglas said. “Now our society, we’ve lost everything, everything we’ve worked for. One man’s mistake, one man’s act, has disrupted the entire society.
Douglas said Husley’s store and the surrounding businesses he owned and supported were closed, and that meant “nothing for the homies.”
Douglas told the judge, “I don’t care what they give him. It’s not about time. I want to know why. The world wants to know why. Why would anyone do that?”
Actor Lauren London, Husley’s partner and mother of his two young children, did not attend any part of the trial, nor did any of his relatives, who gave similar impact statements.
Husley, Ermias Askedom and legal name Holder Growing up as members and knowing each other for years Rollin’ 60s in South LA. Both are aspiring rappers. But Holder didn’t see the same success as Hussle, a local hero and a national celebrity.
The evidence against Holder was so overwhelming — from eyewitnesses to surveillance cameras from local businesses that captured his arrival, the shooting and his departure — that his attorney admitted to shooting Huss during the trial.
But Holder’s attorney, Aaron Johnson, argued to jurors that the heated circumstances of the shooting merited a lesser verdict of voluntary manslaughter.
After about 6 hours of trial, the jury returned with a verdict of first degree murder.
A year after his death, he was mourned at a memorial called the Staples Center at Hustle Arena, and celebrated at a performance at the Grammy Awards. It includes DJ Khaled and John Legend.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”