A 32-year-old man was found guilty of first degree murder for the shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019.

The Los Angeles jury also found Eric R Holder Jr guilty of two counts of attempted willful murder.

Holder, who wore a blue suit and mask, did not react when the jury handed down the verdict after about six hours of deliberation.

Eric Owner. Pic: Twitter / LAPD

Holder and Hussle had known each other for years, having grown up in the same street gang as South Los Angeles.

The shooting occurred after a conversation between them and two others over rumors that Holder was an informant to the authorities.

Evidence against Holder included witness reports and nearby surveillance cameras capturing his arrival at the scene, the shooting and his departure.

His attorney Aaron Jansen did not deny he was the gunman, but said jurors should find him guilty of willful murder, not murder.

Jansen said Holder’s accusation of being a whistleblower sparked a “warmth of passion”, adding, “This is a provocation that arouses anger and powerful emotion.”

Rapper Nipsey Hussle attends an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks in Oakland, California on March 29, 2018. Photo: AP
Rapper Nipsey Hussle, pictured in 2018. Pic: AP

But Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said others involved in the conversation had been calm, meaning that couldn’t be the reason.

The time between the conversation and the shooting was more than enough for Holder to plan the murder, a requirement for a first degree murder, McKinney added.

Hussle – whose legal name is Ermias Asghedom – was 33 when he was shot and killed outside his clothing store in Los Angeles after just releasing an album that earned him his first Grammy nomination.

The father of two was shot at at least 10 times, the court heard.

He was a beloved member of the Southern Los Angeles community, where he owned several businesses.

He was also an advocate of gun violence and was supposed to meet with Los Angeles law enforcement to discuss ways to stop gang violence.

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