Eric Holder, the man charged in the murder of Los Angeles-based rapper Nipsey Hussle, has retained a high-profile attorney to represent him — former Los Angeles prosecutor and O.J. Simpson trial figure Christopher Darden.
Per The Root, Darden appeared in court on Holder’s behalf Thursday and entered a plea of not guilty on all charges. Holder has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Darden also asked to bar cameras from the courtroom, but that request was turned down.
The Los Angeles Police Department, per USA Today, believes that the murder arose out of a personal dispute between the rapper and the accused shooter, contradicting the previous speculation that the killing was gang-related.
Christopher Darden spent 15 years with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, and along with Marcia Clark, he led the prosecution of O.J. Simpson for the 1994 murders of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Darden was widely blamed for the blunder of asking Simpson to try on the bloody glove in the courtroom.
Following the case, in which Simpson was acquitted, Darden resigned from the prosecutor’s office and became a law professor and frequent media commentator, while also writing a memoir called In Contempt. In addition to writing novels, Darden has continued to practice law, founding a law firm in the late 1990s that specializes in criminal defense.
In the 2016 FX miniseries American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, Darden was played by Sterling K. Brown, the actor who now stars on the popular drama series This is Us.
Holder is not to be confused with Eric H. Holder, who served as United States attorney general for nearly six years under President Barack Obama.
Tell me it ain't so. Eric Holder pled not guilty in the murder of Nipsey Hussle. Holder's attorney is listed as "Christopher Darden." Is it THE Christopher Darden from the O.J. trial?? #NipseyHussle #RIPNipseyHussle #ChristopherDarden @kzshabazz @LamontLilly pic.twitter.com/RVMbGLrAeu— Audrey Shipp (@adri16) April 4, 2019
Nipsey Hussle, who was 33-years-old, was a gang member as a young man, but later reinvented himself as a mixtape rapper, and signed with Epic Records in 2009. He later started his own label and opened the Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles in 2017. His album, Victory Lap, was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards earlier this year.
It was in the parking lot of that Marathon store where Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom, died last Sunday after he was shot several times. Hussle was scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles Police Department on the day after his death in order to help come up with strategies to reduce gang violence.