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Nipsey Hussle: Lawyer quits over violent threats to family

Nipsey Hussle Image copyright Getty Images

The lawyer representing a man accused of shooting rapper Nipsey Hussle has announced he's quitting the case.

Chris Darden said it was because "threats" had been made to members of his family including his children.

In April Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times outside a clothing shop he owned in Los Angeles.

Eric Holder, 29, is awaiting trial over the shooting and faces life in jail if convicted.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chris Darden (left) was hired as the defence lawyer for Eric Holder (right)

Writing on Facebook Chris Darden said "cowards" had contacted him anonymously online.

He said he would continue his work as a lawyer but would no longer be defending Eric Holder.

"I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice," Darden said.

"Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too."

Eric Holder is being held by police, his bail was set at $5m (£3.8m) at a court hearing where he also pleaded not guilty.

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Media caption33-year-old Nipsey Hussle was shot dead outside his clothing store in Los Angeles

Chris Darden is one of the most well-known lawyers in the US. He was a prosecutor during the famous OJ Simpson trial in 1995.

Former American football star and actor OJ Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Darden claimed threats were made against him when he worked on that case and said he was disappointed that things hadn't changed.

"These days these cowards don't send letters instead they sit anonymously behind keyboards threatening a man's mother and children.

"And some folks think that's funny. It isn't and I won't ever forget it. Their lies and threats will never deter me from my mission," he said.

Image copyright Shareif Ziyadat
Image caption Drake (left) and Nipsey Hussle (centre) pictured with fellow rapper T.I. in 2010

Artists including Drake, Rihanna and J Cole have paid tribute to Nipsey Hussle.

Drake described him as "a man of respect and a don", while Rihanna wrote on Twitter: "This doesn't make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this!"

Two other people were wounded in the shooting outside Marathon Clothing in south Los Angeles.

The musician died as a result of gunshot wounds to the head and torso, with the Los Angeles County coroner ruling the death a homicide.

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