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After a three-year ordeal, Nipsey Hussle’s long-awaited murder trial has come to a near end. The rapper and entrepreneur was gunned down in 2019 outside of his clothing store, leaving two children, family, beloved fans, and a legacy of ownership alive. It didn’t take long for a suspect to be named. The case was delayed several times amid the coronavirus pandemic and a change in judges, but Eric Holder Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder in the case and now faces a life behind bars. Holder Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced in Sept. 2022. 

Nipsey Hussle on stage; Hussle's murder was found guilty of first-degree murder
Nipsey Hussle | Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The jury finds Eric Holder Jr. guilty of murdering Nipsey Hussle after the prosecution details premeditated murder

A selected jury who sat through weeks of testimony felt the evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Holder Jr. was guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of the late rapper. Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, Holder Jr. riddled Hussle’s body with bullets over an alleged street code argument. The Victory Lap rapper was 33 years old at the time of his death.

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A first-degree murder conviction involves the defendant having premeditated their actions. And according to the prosecution, that’s exactly what Holder Jr. did. Testimony from the witness who drove the getaway car with Holder revealed that after having a tense conversation with Hussle, Holder left the parking lot of the shopping plaza and returned with two guns with the intention of shooting and killing Hussle.

“We have a step-by-step methodically carried out plan to return to that parking lot and kill. It’s not done in the heat of passion, in fact, it’s done 10 minutes after the conversation, in fact it’s done after he shakes Nipsey Hussle’s hand,” the prosecution said during closing arguments, per CNN.

Friend of Nipsey Hussle’s who was also shot on the fateful day speaks

Holder Jr. reportedly became enraged that Hussle called him a “snitch” during their conversation. It’s a term used to describe a person who gives law enforcement information regarding another. Being a snitch is said to be frowned upon in street life. Hussle had gang ties but opted to focus on music instead. Holder Jr. is said to be in the same gang as Hussle, the Rolling 60s Crips.

Herman “Cowboy” Douglas, a friend of Hussle who was present the day of the murder, said Hussle never called Holder a snitch. He still seeks answers on why his friend was shot. “It was so senseless, why?” he asked, rhetorically during the trial. 

Douglas insists the conversation between Hussle and Holder “never got heated.” “I’m just sad, I miss my friend. He’s supposed to be here, he’s supposed to still be here. He was the underdog that made it,” Douglas said during his testimony. “I don’t wish death on people,” he said of Holder. “Give us some closure, let us know why.”