The man convicted of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle has been sentenced to at least 60 years in prison.
Eric R. Holder, Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder last July for killing Hussle – whose real name is Ermias Asghedom – outside Hussle’s South Los Angeles clothing store in 2019.
Hussle, a Grammy-nominated artist, died aged 33. Two bystanders were also hit and injured in the incident.
Superior Court Judge H. Clay Jacke announced Holder’s 60 years to life sentence on Wednesday after hearing from one of Hussle’s friends as well as reading a letter from Holder’s father.
Holder was found guilty of murder as well as two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter for the two bystanders injured in the shooting after a months-long trial.
He was not eligible for the death penalty and was widely expected to receive a life sentence.
Wearing orange jail attire, he did not react when his sentence was read out.
Holder’s attorney told ABC News he planned to appeal the verdict.
“It was always going to be tough given the high-profile circumstances surrounding the case,” the attorney, Aaron Jansen, said.
Prosecutors said during the murder trial that the attack was premeditated, while Holder’s defence team argued it was a heat-of-the-moment decision.
Holder’s defence attorney said he was provoked by a conversation he had with Hussle about rumours that he was cooperating with police.
Hussle was struck by gunfire at least 10 times, after which Holder kicked him in the head and fled the scene, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the court, according to the Associated Press.
Hussle grew up in South Los Angeles, where he was a member of the Rollin’ 60s street gang as a teenager.
He opened the Marathon Clothing store as a way of investing in his community. Before his death, he had also reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department to discuss ways to help prevent gang violence in the neighbourhood.
The rapper, who won two posthumous Grammy awards for best rap performance and best rap/song collaboration in 2020, had two children with actor Lauren London.
He was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Hussle’s murder has sparked an outpouring of support from fans across the country who have posted tributes to the rapper.