The attorney representing Nipsey Hussle’s accused killer has withdrawn from the case citing death threats from “angry mobs.”
Christopher Darden, a prosecutor in O.J. Simpson’s 1995 murder trial, signed on to represent Eric Holder following his arrest on April 2.
But on Friday, the defense lawyer made the surprise announcement in a Facebook post that he was quitting the case.
“I am on my way to appear for the last time in People v. Holder. I filed a motion to withdraw from the case,” he wrote. “I thought I should tell you, my friends, first & before anyone else.”
Last month the attorney’s daughter, Jeneé Darden, went public saying she had been flooded with “vile comments and messages” because of her father’s involvement in the case.
Chris Darden confirmed in his post that he and his family had received a series of threats.
“As for my reasons for withdrawing I don’t know whether I will disclose them later or not. I only know that as a lawyer it is my duty to protect the rights of my clients even in the face of threats or angry mobs,” he said.
“This is the silent solemn oath we took as defense counsel. This is the legacy made for me and all of us who practice as defense counsel in the criminal courts. But allow me to say this; After centuries of a history of black men hung from trees without trial, or after the thousands of cases of black men tried, convicted and executed without counsel; after Gideon v. Wainwright & Powell v. Alabama, I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice,” he continued.
“To those who issued those threats to my children please pay close attention so there is no misunderstanding. Later. F-CK YOU! As for me, I continue to thrive,” the attorney added.
Holder, 29, is accused of shooting Hussle multiple times on March 31, in front of the Grammy-nominated rapper’s Marathon Clothing store in South Los Angeles. Two other men were injured in the shooting. The LAPD said the violence stemmed from some type of personal dispute between Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, and the suspect.
Holder pleaded not guilty to murder and two counts of attempted murder last month.
He was scheduled to make another court appearance on Friday.
In a separate development this week, Marathon Clothing announced on Instagram that its flagship store had closed down. Online sales will continue, the statement said.