29-year-old Holder allegedly shot and killed rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle last Sunday outside his Marathon clothing store in south Los Angeles.
Holder has pled not guilty to 1 count of murder, 2 counts of attempted murder and 1 count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The attempted murder charges are for the alleged shooting of Kerry Lathan and Shermi Cervabta Villanueva, the two men who were also on the scene at Eric gunned down Nipsey.
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Holder’s bond has been set at $5 million and TMZ reports that he is being held in solitary confinement out of fear that another inmate might physically harm or kill him. He faces life in prison if convicted.
So, how does Darden mount a defense for Holder?
As reported by the L. A. Times, Dmitry Gorin, a former L.A. County deputy district attorney, said “the defense will have a challenge in rebutting both the video and eyewitness testimony showing the suspect returned with a weapon after his dispute with Hussle.”
Darden could argue that the shooting resulted from a “heat of passion” or a “provocation,” which could lead to a reduced charge of manslaughter, allowing Holder to avoid life imprisonment.
“The video evidence appears devastating to the defense,” Gorin said. ”Arguing for manslaughter to a jury because Holder felt disrespected will be tough.”
Prominent defense attorney Louis Shapiro agreed.
“It’s very hard to overcome video surveillance evidence,” he said.
“Darden is only left with with imperfect self-defense to try for manslaughter, but would need evidence … to prove that Holder felt that he was going to be attacked and harmed by Nipsey,” Shapiro said. “It is a major uphill battle for him.”
Nipsey’s funeral will take place Thursday (April 11) at the Staples Center.
Holder is scheduled to return to court May 10.