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Nipsey Hussle shooting: Suspect Eric Holder pleads not guilty to murder

The rapper was shot and killed outside his Los Angeles clothing store March 31.
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The California man accused of fatally shooting Nipsey Hussle and wounding two others outside the rapper's Los Angeles clothing store made a brief appearance Thursday in a Los Angeles courtroom shortly after he was charged with murder.

Eric Ronald Holder, Jr. was represented by attorney Chris Darden, who entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf. Holder, 29, appeared in court wearing blue jail clothes and was ordered held on $5-million bail.

In addition to murder, Holder was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office with two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Darden declined to comment. A law professor and defense attorney, Darden is widely known for his work as a prosecutor in the murder case against OJ Simpson.

Prosecutors allege Holder shot Hussle, known by his legal name of Ermias Joseph Asgehdom, on March 31. Holder was also accused of shooting and injuring two other men, Kerry Lathan and Shermi Villanueva, according to the criminal complaint.

The prosecutor assigned to the case declined to comment outside court.

Hussle, 33, was gunned down in the parking lot of his clothing store, The Marathon Clothing, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. 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.

Image: Eric Holder, Christopher Darden
Eric Holder appears with his attorney Chris Darden for an arraignment hearing at the Los Angeles County courthouse on April 4, 2019.Damian Dovarganes / Pool via AP

Holder, a suspected gang member, and Hussle had a personal dispute before the shooting, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said. Holder approached Hussle several times at the store before leaving and returning with a gun, according to Moore, who said investigators do not believe the shooting was gang-related.

Holder fled through a nearby alley after the shooting and got into a waiting vehicle, police said.

He was taken into custody two days later in Bellflower, a city in southeast Los Angeles County, after someone reported seeing a man who matched Holder's description.