(LOS ANGELES) — Eric Holder, Jr., the man who was convicted in the 2019 murder of hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle, was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison, according to ABC station in Los Angeles, KABC.
Holder was found guilty on July 6, 2022, of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the rapper, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom.
Holder also was convicted of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty.
During the trial, Holder also was found not guilty of attempted murder against two men who were wounded in the 2019 shooting attack.
Following the verdict, Holder’s attorney Aaron Jansen told ABC News there’s “deep disappointment” with the conviction and said that Holder plans to appeal his sentence.
“It was always going to be tough given the high-profile circumstances surrounding the case,” Jansen said. “We are grateful that the jury agreed with us, in part, that the case was overcharged and voted to acquit Mr. Holder, Jr. of the two attempted murder charges.”
Although Holder pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, he did not deny that he killed Hussle.
Jansen argued during the trial that while Holder did fatally shoot Hussle, it was a crime of passion and not a premeditated act.
“Mr. Holder has always been willing to accept responsibility for the charge of voluntary manslaughter for the life he took,” Jansen told ABC News in a statement on July 2, 2022.
Nipsey Hussle, known as “Neighborhood Nip” to his community and fans in South Los Angeles, was a Grammy-winning rapper who dedicated his life to building the streets of Crenshaw where he grew up and where he owned several businesses. It is on those streets that the rapper was killed on March 31, 2019, outside his Marathon Clothing store.
Holder, an aspiring rapper from the same neighborhood, belonged to the same gang as Hussle – the Rollin 60s of the Crips. But in the last years of his life, Hussle had worked to stop the violence and broker peace between rival gangs.
The rapper’s murder at age 33 sent shockwaves through the music world and the Marathon Clothing store, which has reopened at a new location, and become a memorial where thousands of fans flock to pay their respects to Hussle.
Since his death, millions have posted tributes to the rapper on social media, punctuated with #TheMarathonContinues – Hussle’s own metaphor for overcoming the struggles of life.
“I think I speak for the entire city of LA when I say that we’ve always known that Hussle was destined for greatness,” the rapper’s girlfriend Lauren London said as Hussle was honored as a hometown hero on Aug. 15, 2022, when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Nip would’ve been honored by this moment.”
“So whenever you’re in the City of Angels, and you see this star, I hope that it encourages you to break away from whatever might be holding you back, and for you to run your marathon until God says that it’s finished,” she added.
ABC News’ Kiara Alfonseca contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.