Grand Jury: Nipsey Hus­sle was shot af­ter ‘snitch’ com­ments with sus­pect

Lodi News-Sentinel - - PAGETWO - By Alene Tchekm­e­dyian

LOS AN­GE­LES — Be­fore he was killed, Nipsey Hus­sle spent the af­ter­noon of March 31 sign­ing au­to­graphs, taking pic­tures with fans and talk­ing with friends at the strip mall where he owned sev­eral busi­nesses.

Around the same time, Eric Holder and a wo­man he was dat­ing pulled into the crowded park­ing lot to get food from a burger restau­rant. Holder spot­ted Hus­sle and de­cided to talk to the famed rap­per, who was with a larger group.

They had a four-minute con­ver­sa­tion, ac­cord­ing to a pros­e­cu­tor’s sum­mary of the in­ci­dent. At some point dur­ing the talk, the topic turned to snitch­ing.

“Ap­par­ently, the con­ver­sa­tion had some­thing to do with (Hus­sle) telling Mr. Holder that word on the street was that Mr. Holder was snitch­ing,” Deputy Dis­trict At­tor­ney John McKinney told the grand jury. “The con­ver­sa­tion wasn’t par­tic­u­larly in­tense. It wasn’t par­tic­u­larly bel­liger­ent.”

The pros­e­cu­tor also said Holder was heard say­ing to Hus­sle: “So you’ve never snitched?” or “Haven’t you snitched?”

The nar­ra­tive comes from McKinney’s open­ing state­ment dur­ing a May grand jury hear­ing. A coro­ner tes­ti­fied that Hus­sle sus­tained at least 10 gun­shot wounds from head to toe, in­clud­ing to his scalp, chest, ab­domen and foot. Six bul­lets were re­moved from his body.

A judge or­dered the re­lease of the 515-page doc­u­ment Thurs­day af­ter the Los An­ge­les Times ar­gued in court for pub­lic ac­cess.

The doc­u­ments of­fer the clear­est nar­ra­tive yet about the slay­ing of Hus­sle in March, a killing that sparked days of memo­ri­als and griev­ing. Los An­ge­les po­lice have said the mo­tive for the shoot­ing was a per­sonal dis­pute. But the doc­u­ments re­veal more de­tails about the words al­leged to have been ex­changed be­tween Hus­sle and Holder.

The panel re­turned a six­count in­dict­ment charg­ing Holder, 29, with one count of mur­der, two counts each of at­tempted mur­der and as­sault with a firearm and one count of pos­ses­sion of a firearm by a felon. He has pleaded not guilty.

Holder and the wo­man then drove off. While in the car, Holder pulled out a gun and told the wo­man to drive around the block. She tes­ti­fied that he be­gan load­ing it in the car. He di­rected her to pull over and said that he’d be right back.

That’s when he walked up to Hus­sle and fired mul­ti­ple rounds at him from two different guns, the pros­e­cu­tor said. He jumped back into the car and in­structed the wo­man to drive away. When she asked what hap­pened, he said to drive or he would slap her.

Holder’s pub­lic de­fender had sought to keep the doc­u­ment se­cret until af­ter his trial, ar­gu­ing that mak­ing it pub­lic could jeop­ar­dize her client’s right to a fair and im­par­tial trial.

A key pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness is the driver, the wo­man who had been dat­ing Holder. She was not iden­ti­fied by name be­cause of threats made on­line and was of­fered im­mu­nity for her tes­ti­mony.

The at­tack on Hus­sle, an in­flu­en­tial rap­per and activist, re­ver­ber­ated far beyond his South Los An­ge­les neigh­bor­hood.

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