Chris Darden withdrawing from defending Nispey Hussle's accused killer

The former O.J. Simpson prosecutor said he and his family have been receiving death threats after he took on the high profile case.
Image: Eric Holder, Christopher Darden
Chris Darden at an arraignment hearing for Eric Holder in the Los Angeles County courthouse on April 4.Damian Dovarganes / Pool via AP

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By Doha Madani

Attorney Chris Darden, who prosecuted the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995, has filed a motion to withdraw from the defense team for the man accused of killing Nipsey Hussle.

Darden announced his filing Friday on Facebook and explained that his family was receiving death threats for his representation of Eric Ronald Holder Jr., 29, who entered a plea of not guilty last month in the death of the beloved rapper and activist.

Darden said he could not understand why some people would wish to "deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice."

"Just as they were in 1995-Cowards never change," Darden wrote. "These days these cowards don’t send letters instead they sit anonymously behind keyboards threatening a man’s mother and children. And some folks think that’s funny."

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Hussle, 33, was gunned down in the parking lot of his clothing store, The Marathon Clothing, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 31. He died at the hospital from gunshot wounds to the head and torso, authorities said.

Two other men were injured in the shooting but survived, according to police.

Holder was charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Despite his decision to withdraw from Holder's case, Darden said Friday that he would not be deterred from his overall mission.

"I continue to be loved. I continue to walk with kings," Darden wrote. "And I will continue my pursuit of fairness and justice on behalf of my clients and others charged with crimes."

Darden's daughter, Jenee, said last month on her social media pages that she received "vile comments and messages."

The Darden family is no stranger to controversy. During the 1995 Simpson trial — when the ex-NFL player was acquitted of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman — Darden was criticized as being a “traitor” to his race for his role in prosecuting Simpson.

His family and friends were followed by paparazzi and people who saw Simpson's case as unjust, Darden told NBC News in 2017.

“It was a very dangerous time for me,” Darden said. “It was not uncommon to have a police car parked on the street at my parents’ home. We were under constant surveillance and being harassed."

Andrew Blankstein contributed.