Nipsey Hussle lifted up the neighborhood he was killed in: lawyer


Nipsey Hussle was a hip-hop star who sought to raise up his neighborhood with him until a friend from the same streets gunned him down, a prosecutor said in his closing argument Thursday.

“This man was different,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told jurors, seeking to humanize Hussle after two weeks of testimony that dwelled on the technical details surrounding the 2019 shooting. “He wanted to change the neighborhood. He kept the same friends. And the neighborhood loved him. They called him Neighborhood Nip.”

McKinney’s presentation came at the trial of Eric R. Holder Jr., who is charged with the first-degree murder of the 33-year-old Hussle, whose legal name was Ermias Asghedom.

Holder’s attorney Aaron Jansen acknowledged, as he has throughout the trial, that Holder shot and killed Hussle. But he argued to jurors during his own closing that they should find his client guilty of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter because he was acting in the “heat of passion” after a conversation in which Hussle told him there were rumors of his informing to authorities .

“That heat of passion consists of being called publicly a snitch by someone as famous as Nipsey Hussle,” Jansen said, later adding, “This is a provocation that stirs up rage and powerful emotion.”

Hussle and Holder were both rappers, one successful, one unsuccessful, who grew up as members of the same South Los Angeles gang, the Rollin’ 60s, the prosecutor McKinney said.

He showed the jurors a photo, taken moments before the shooting, of Hussle crouching down with a toddler wearing a shirt that read “Crenshaw,” bought from Hussle’s South LA clothing store, The Marathon, that they were standing outside of.

“He was no longer a gangbanger. He was a world-known recording artist and so much

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