Judge denies defense's bid to dismiss counts against Nipsey Hussle's alleged killer
LOS ANGELES - A judge Thursday denied the defense's bid to dismiss two of the charges against the man charged with murdering Nipsey Hussle outside the rapper's clothing store in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles in March.
"The court finds that there is enough to go to the jury,'' Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry said in rejecting defense attorney Lowynn Young's motion to dismiss two counts of attempted murder against Eric Holder Jr.
Holder, who will turn 30 next week, was indicted May 9 on one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm.
The indictment also includes allegations that Holder personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury.
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The case could go before a jury sometime early next year, with his trial tentatively set for Feb. 19 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the grand jury earlier this year that Holder used two guns on March 31 to fire multiple shots shortly after a conversation that included allegations of "snitching."
The prosecutor told the grand jury that the defendant walked up to a group including Hussle -- whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom -- and the ensuing discussion "had something to do with Mr. Asghedom accusing Mr. Holder of snitching, which, in the gang world, is a very serious offense."
"Apparently the conversation had something to do with Mr. Asghedom telling Mr. Holder that word on the street was that Mr. Holder was snitching. The conversation wasn't particularly intense, it wasn't particularly belligerent, and it lasted for about four minutes," the prosecutor told the grand jury, while noting later that the conversation was "enough that it moved Eric Holder to a point of wanting to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle."
Deputy Medical Examiner Lawrence Nguyen told the grand jury that the rapper suffered 11 gunshot wounds, although two of the wounds could have been caused by the same bullet, according to a grand jury transcript.
Two other men, who are named as the victims in the attempted murder and assault with a firearm charges, were injured.
Holder -- a 29-year-old aspiring rapper -- was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies about 1 p.m. April 2 in the 9000 block of Artesia Boulevard in Bellflower after a witness called authorities to report seeing a person believed to be Holder.
He remains jailed on $6.53 million bail in a case in which he could face a maximum of life in prison if convicted as charged.