Nipsey Hussle Murder Trial: Why is O.J. prosecutor Chris Darden defending accused shooter Eric Holder?

Eric Holder, the suspect in the killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle is seen with his attorney, Christopher Darden, front, in Los Angeles County Superior court Thursday, April 4, 2019. Hussle pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and attempted murder charges. Holder was ordered held in lieu of $5 million bail. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, Pool) thegrio.com
Eric Holder, the suspect in the killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle is seen with his attorney, Christopher Darden, front, in Los Angeles County Superior court. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, Pool)


 

After almost 25 years since he played a lead role in the failed prosecution of O.J. Simpson, Chris Darden is back in the legal limelight in another controversial case— this time as a defense lawyer for the man charged in the murder of rapper and community advocate Nipsey Hussle.

Darden stood with the accused killer, 29-year-old Eric Holder, as he made his first appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court for his arraignment on Thursday, the New York Daily News reported. Holder entered a not guilty plea to the charge of fatally shooting Hussle on Sunday outside of the rapper’s Los Angeles store.

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A source tells the Daily News that the star prosecutor was “privately retained” for Holder. Darden, now 62, reportedly refutes “all allegations” in the Holder case.

During the hearing, Darden argued against allowing media outlets in the courtroom to record the proceeding but the judge allowed access.

“Identity is an issue,” Darden told Judge Teresa Sullivan. “To allow media to publish images of my client in jail clothing could (affect) his right to a fair trial.”

The prosecution argued otherwise.

During the hearing, Sullivan lowered Holder’s bail from $7 million to $5 million and ordered him back in court on May 10, according to the News.

Holder, an aspiring rapper, was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Details surrounding funeral services for Hussle have not yet been released.