The man on trial for allegedly killing rapper Nipsey Hussle was assaulted at a Los Angeles County jail early Tuesday morning, officials confirmed.
Multiple people assaulted 32-year-old Eric Holder while he was in a holding cell at the jail and waiting to be taken to court, his public defender, Aaron Jansen, told KTLA.
“The attack included a razor and the back of his head was cut,” Jansen detailed. Holder was taken to a hospital, received an MRI and ended up getting staples in the back of his head, Jansen said. The lawyer told Rolling Stone magazine that Holder also had a swollen face and eye.
The case was scheduled to resume with witness testimony Wednesday.
“We have addressed specific steps with the Judge Jacke which assured us of Mr. Holder, Jr.’s safety going forward,” Jansen said.
Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was fatally shot outside his business, the Marathon Clothing store, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles in March 2019. The Grammy-winning artist was 33 at the time.
The killing sparked a 48-hour manhunt that culminated in Holder’s arrest in Bellflower. He was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possessions of a firearm by a felon.
Holder has pleaded not guilty and faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged.
During opening arguments earlier this month, prosecutor John McKinney told jurors Holder was captured on surveillance footage standing in the parking lot and opening fire on Hussle, and that the rapper suffered 10 gunshot wounds.
Hussle had also made a name for himself as a community activist and entrepreneur in South L.A. He offered jobs to struggling residents and was working to bring economic development to the blocks around Slauson and Crenshaw Boulevard.