The man suspected of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle pleaded not guilty Thursday in a packed Los Angeles courtroom.
Eric Holder, 29, was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to a press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
As he stood behind a glass enclosure surrounded by sheriff’s deputies, Holder entered the plea through his famous attorney, Christopher Darden, who is widely known as one of the prosecutors in O.J. Simpson’s 1995 murder trial. Darden now works as a law professor and defense lawyer.
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Holder was ordered held on $5 million bail, which was lowered from the initial $7 million set after his arrest.
He’s accused of gunning down Grammy-nominated rapper Hussle, real name Ermias Asghedom, on March 31 outside the rapper’s Marathon Clothing store in broad daylight. Two other men were wounded in the attack.
Los Angeles police say Holder fled the scene and was driven away by a woman in a white Chevy Cruze. Holder was arrested in nearby Bellflower following a two-day manhunt. The woman was questioned by police, but reportedly said she didn’t know what happened and was not charged.
Community activists held a news conference Thursday outside Hussle’s South Los Angeles store, calling for the woman’s arrest.
“We know in the community that this so-called driver and accomplice, we believe is also culpable in the murder of Nipsey Hussle,” local activist Najee Ali told reporters.
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According to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, Holder and Hussle had some type of personal dispute before the shooting.
Moore said in a news conference Tuesday that Holder approached Hussle several times in front of the rapper’s store in the 3400 block of West Slauson Ave., before leaving and returning with a gun. Investigators don’t believe the shooting was gang-related.
Holder has been described in media reports as an aspiring rapper, who goes by the street name “Sh-tty Cuz.” He is also believed to be a gang member. Holder is due back in court on May 10.