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Attorney seeks reports on Hussle crime investigations

LOS ANGELES — An attorney representing the man charged with murdering rapper Nipsey Hussle has asked the prosecution to turn over documents relating to any criminal investigations of the musician before his death, according to a court filing.

The filing by Eric Ronald Holder Jr.’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Lowynn Young, seeks “any and all investigative reports and their results of the decedent as it relates to any criminal investigations before his death,” along with information related to the “gang affiliation, gang membership and participation in gang activities by the decedent, all witnesses and the defendant.”

The document also seeks information about “the criminal history of the decedent, along with any and all unredacted and unedited police and arrest reports related to his arrest for any criminal offense or suspected criminal conduct, including any and all traffic citations.”

Holder remains jailed in lieu of $6.53 million bail while awaiting his next court appearance Aug. 29 and could face a maximum of life in prison if convicted as charged.

The New York Times has reported that there was an open investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office into the rapper, his property and his business associates before his March 31 shooting death in front of the Marathon Clothing store, which Hussle owned, in the 3400 block of West Slauson Avenue in Hyde Park, and that the probe is continuing.

A grand jury indictment from May 9 charges Holder with one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm involving two other men who were wounded, along with the allegations that he personally and intentionally discharged a firearm and caused great bodily injury and death.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the grand jury that Holder used two guns to fire multiple shots shortly after a conversation that included allegations of “snitching.”

The prosecutor told the grand jury that the defendant walked up to a group including Hussle — whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom — and the ensuing discussion “had something to do with Mr. Asghedom accusing Mr. Holder of snitching, which in the gang world is a very serious offense.”

“Apparently the conversation had something to do with Mr. Asghedom telling Mr. Holder that word on the street was that Mr. Holder was snitching. The conversation wasn’t particularly intense, it wasn’t particularly belligerent, and it lasted for about four minutes,” the prosecutor told the grand jury, while noting later that the conversation was “enough that it moved Eric Holder to a point of wanting to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle.”

Deputy Medical Examiner Lawrence Nguyen told the grand jury the rapper suffered 11 gunshot wounds, although two of the wounds could have been caused by the same bullet, according to a grand jury transcript.

At a court hearing May 10, a judge appointed the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office to represent Holder following the withdrawal of Chris Darden — a former prosecutor best known for his work in the O.J. Simpson murder trial — as his attorney.

Holder — a 29-year-old aspiring rapper — was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on April 2 in the 9000 block of Artesia Boulevard in Bellflower after a witness called authorities to report seeing a person believed to be Holder.

Hussle transformed himself from a South Los Angeles gang member to a rap musician and channeled his success into efforts to help others stay out of gangs. He bought shoes for students, re-paved basketball courts, provided jobs and shelter for the homeless and redeveloped the strip mall that housed his clothing shop, where he was fatally wounded.

wave staff report