Suspect in Nipsey Hussle murder attacked in jail, attorney says

Nipsey Hussle performs onstage at the Warner Music Pre-Grammy Party at the NoMad Hotel on February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Nipsey Hussle performs onstage at the Warner Music Pre-Grammy Party at the NoMad Hotel on February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo credit Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Warner Music

LOS ANGELES (KNX) – The suspect in the 2019 murder of Nipsey Hussle was attacked in a jail Tuesday morning, his attorney said.

Public defender Aaron Jansen said Eric Holder Jr., 32, was assaulted by a group of individuals while waiting to be brought to court. One of the individuals reportedly cut Holder in the back of the head with a razor, causing Holder to be hospitalized.

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Attorney Jansen said his client lost consciousness during the attack by other inmates in a jail holding cell while waiting to be taken to court. Holder needed an MRI and three staples to the back of his head, Jansen said, noting his left eye and left side of his face were swollen.

It stood in stark comparison to the autopsy photos jurors viewed Wednesday when the trial continued with a medical examiner who testified Hussle – born Ermias Joseph Asghedom – was shot 11 times from his head to his feet outside his Marathon clothing store on March 31, 2019.

Testimony wrapped Wednesday after being delayed a day because of the alleged attack.

Holder is charged with murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and felony possession of a gun. Jansen admitted his client "shot and killed" the beloved rapper and community activist but argues it happened in a "heat of passion." In his opening statement, Jansen claimed Holder was "enraged" that Nipsey accused him of being a snitch and returned nine minutes later "without thinking" and "without premeditation" when he fired at him.

Jansen argues his client should face a voluntary manslaughter charge, not murder.

The judge ordered jurors return to court Thursday morning for expected closing arguments and jury instructions.

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