Hussle, the Grammy-nominated artist born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was shot in March 2019 outside the Marathon Clothing Store, a business he owned in his south Los Angeles, his hometown. A coroner that same day determined that Hussle, 33, died of gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide.
Prosecutors said Hussle and Holder were both affiliated with the Rollin’ 60s Crips gang, according to the AP. Holder’s attorney Aaron Jansen didn’t deny during the trial that his client shot and killed Hussle, but he asked the jury to consider the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, the AP reported. Jansen said Holder acted in the “heat of passion” after Hussle said there were rumors Holder was working with authorities.
Jansen said in a statement Wednesday that he was “deeply” disappointed in the verdict and that he had expected an uphill battle “given the high-profile circumstances surrounding the case.” He added, however, that he was “grateful that the jury agreed with us, in part, that the case was overcharged”; prosecutors originally argued for two counts of attempted murder for the injured bystanders.
“We will move on to sentencing set for September 15, 2022, and then appeal,” Jansen added.
After years of putting out music, Hussle released his first and only studio album, “Victory Lap,” in February 2018; it debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and peaked at No. 2 after his death. Hussle, who grew up in the Crenshaw neighborhood, was known to give back to his community through business deals and philanthropy. The day of Hussle’s death, a member of the Los Angeles police commission tweeted that he had a meeting scheduled with the rapper for the next day in an effort to reduce gang violence.
Prosecutors underscored Hussle’s community work during the closing arguments of Holder’s trial.
“This man was different,” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the jury, according to the AP. “He wanted to change the neighborhood. He kept the same friends. And the neighborhood loved him. They called him Neighborhood Nip.”