The man who was convicted of murdering hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison on Wednesday.
Eric Holder Jr. was found guilty in July 2022 of first-degree murder after fatally shooting Hussle in 2019 outside the clothing store the artist owned in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where both men grew up.
Judge H. Clay Jacke II sentenced Holder to 25 years to life in prison for the murder, along with 25 years under a firearm sentencing enhancement and 10 more for assault with a firearm, according to the Associated Press. Holder was also convicted of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a firearm for wounding two bystanders.
Holder’s attorney had argued that his conviction for Hussle’s death should be reduced to voluntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors, however, argued that the murder was premeditated, saying it was a result of long-building tensions. According to the AP, Holder and Hussle had known each other for years as members of the Rollin’ 60s gang, and both aspired to become rappers — though only Hussle found success.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Herman Douglas, a close friend of Hussle’s who was standing with him when he was killed, told the judge of the impact the artist’s death had on him personally and on the community, the LA Times reported.
“Our community right now, we lost everything. Everything we worked for. … Thousands of jobs we don’t have no more. Homies don’t have nothing to do. They backsliding, they robbing people now,” Douglas said. “All our stores are closed down. The whole community relied on Nip.”
Holder’s defense attorney also presented the court with a letter from his father, apologizing for his actions and describing his diagnosis of schizophrenia, the AP reported.
“I know there are not enough words that would fill the void, the pain, the deep sorrow that they feel,” the letter read. “I question myself every day asking if I as a father did everything to help Eric Jr. stabilize his mental health.”
The judge said he had considered Holder’s mental health in the sentence.
“I am very mindful of what was presented as to Mr. Holder’s mental health,” Jacke said, according to the AP. “I am also mindful of the devastation caused to the victims and their families. I believe this sentence balances the two.”