A date has been set for the trial of Eric Holder, the man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019.
As Rolling Stone reports, a Los Angeles County judge has set Holder’s trial for January 5 next year after numerous delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the retirement of the previous judge in the trial, and the resignation of Holder’s prior lawyer – former O. J. Simpson attorney Christopher Darden – who was replaced by public defender Aaron Jansen.
Holder has pleaded not guilty to the charges – one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of felony possession of a firearm – which relate to Hussle’s fatal shooting outside his Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles in March 2019.
Prosecutors in the case are claiming that Holder fired at least 10 rounds into Hussle from two different handguns. It is then alleged than Holder kicked Hussle in the head and ran off. Two others were wounded in the shooting.
According to LA County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney, the incident took place after a conversation between the two men in which Hussle accused Holder of working with police. Holder allegedly walked away, returned six minutes later and began firing at Hussle.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Holder’s lawyer Jansen said that his client – who faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted – is “nervous, but he knows it’s time to get the case moving to trial”.
He also said that Holder had been suffering from “a substantial mental health issue” on the day of the shooting and was “off his medication”. This echoes previous comments made by Jansen in late June regarding Holder’s mental health.
“He does have a significant mental health history,” he told the New York Daily News in June. “One of the things affecting him [in March 2019] was that his mother had just passed away. He was pretty despondent.”
Since his death, Hussle has appeared on numerous posthumous releases, including Big Sean‘s ‘Deep Reverence’, ‘What It Feels Like’ with Jay-Z and a remix of Maroon 5’s ‘Memories’ that also featured his ‘FDT’ collaborator YG.
A huge tribute to the rapper was held at the 2020 Grammys, with Meek Mill, John Legend, DJ Khaled and more all coming together to celebrate Hussle’s life and career. Earlier this year, it was revealed Hussle will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.
A documentary on the rapper directed by filmmaker Ava DuVernay is also in the works at Netflix.