Court transcripts unsealed show that Nipsey Hussle and the man charged with killing him talked about “snitching” shortly before the rapper was shot, a conversation prosecutors said was the motive for the shooting.
In the grand jury transcripts, which provide the first glimpse of prosecutors’ case against Eric R Holder, Hussle’s friend Herman Douglas testified about a conversation he overheard between the rapper and Holder. Douglas said he heard Hussle tell Holder there were rumors he had been talking to authorities about the Rollin’ 60s gang, and that police documents or court records showed it.
“You need to address it,” Douglas remembers Hussle saying in a conversation outside The Marathon, the rapper’s South Los Angeles clothing store where he was shot minutes later. “You know, basically telling the guy you need to be careful, you know, because people got some paperwork on you.”
Douglas testified that he Hussle and Holder had all been affiliated with the gang at some point, though he and Hussle had not been involved in any recent gang activity.
Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said the four-minute talk led directly to the shooting.
“Obviously, that conversation about snitching was enough that it moved Eric Holder to a point of wanting to return to the parking lot and kill Nipsey Hussle,” McKinney said in his closing argument to the grand jury.
Authorities allege that Holder shot and killed Hussle and wounded two other men March 31. Holder has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.
Holder was arrested two days after the shooting. Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore said that day that the dispute between Holder and Hussle was personal and did not involve gang activity.
Holder returned to the scene about six minutes after his conversation with Hussle and used two guns to shoot Hussle at least 10 times, according to homicide investigators and a medical examiner who testified at the grand jury hearing.
Hussle, 33, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, was an underground phenomenon through his mix tapes for a decade before his major break last year that brought him a Grammy nomination.