His attorney said the man who confessed to killing rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019 was attacked by two of his colleagues at the Los Angeles County Jail and cut with a razor blade on his way to court this week, briefly delaying the trial.
Eric Holder Jr., 33, lost consciousness and needed three staples to seal a wound to the back of his head after he jumped into a cell while waiting to be presented in court on Tuesday morning, according to his attorney, Aaron Janssen.
When jurors arrived in court Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jack told them that proceedings had been put on hold due to an “unexpected medical” incident involving Holder.
Holder returned to court on Wednesday, but with staples in the back of his head and his face obscured by a hood for the first time at trial.
Late Wednesday morning, Janssen told reporters in the courtroom lobby that his client was attacked while in a cell with approximately 13 other inmates. Jansen said Holder had his head down and was resting his eyes when he was hit from behind, adding that the men punched him and cut him with moss.
Jansen said a pregnant woman was taken to hospital with bruises and abrasions on his face, as well as cuts.
According to Jansen, the two attackers did not say anything to Holder, and the motive behind the attack was not immediately clear. Despite the incident, Janssen said his client was “fine” to continue the trial.
Both the prosecution and the defense suspended their cases Wednesday, and the case is expected to be in the hands of the jury late Thursday.
Hussle was signing autographs and talking to fans in the Crenshaw Strip parking lot that houses his Marathon Clothing store when he spoke to Holder on March 31, 2019.
Both men are members of the Rollin 60 Crips group that has long dominated the neighborhood. Hussle tells Holder there is a rumor that he cooperated with a police investigation, a kind of gossip that quickly turns into a killer in gang circles, according to testimony given at the trial.
Holder returned moments later with two pistols and opened fire. Hussle was shot 11 times and died shortly after. Two other men were also injured. Holder was arrested two days later, then The woman who inadvertently acted as a getaway driver for him She surrendered to the police.
Janssen Holder confessed to the murder During his opening statement two weeks ago, but said his client should be convicted of manslaughter, not premeditated murder.
Jansen argued that Hussle’s comments about the snitching of Left Holder were “so outrageous and sensational” that he did not stop to consider his actions before the shootings. The attorney also said Holder had no intention of harming Keri Lathan or Shermy Villanueva, the two men who were wounded in the shooting but survived.
If convicted of murder and attempted murder, Holder would face an effective life sentence.
Neither the prosecutor’s office nor the district deputy. came. John McKinney, who is suing the case, commented on the attack on Holder. Jail’s defeat to the jury was not mentioned, and McKinney reprimanded Janssen on Wednesday for discussing the attack with reporters in the courtroom, where anxious jurors might hear.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which operates county prisons and is responsible for Holder’s safety while in custody, has repeatedly refused to provide information about the attack. A Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman told the Times reporter Tuesday to submit a public records request for any information about the assault.
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