Woman who drove man who killed Nipsey Hussle testifies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman testified Monday that she inadvertently brought the man now accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle to the scene of the shooting, not acknowledging that he had fired the fatal shots despite seeing him carry a gun. moments before.

Bryannita Nicholson, 35, said that when she and Eric Holder, with whom she had been in a casual relationship (but not quite dating) for about five weeks, arrived at a South Los Angeles mall on March 31, 2019 , was surprised. and she was happy to see Hussle, whose music she loved.

“I was like, ‘Ooh, there goes Nipsey, okay,” Nicholson testified, “I want to take a picture with him.”

The testimony of Nicholson, a key prosecution witness who gets immunity in return, came on the fourth day of Holder’s trial. He is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the 33-year-old hip-hop artist who had just been nominated for a Grammy for his major-label debut album after years of underground acclaim.

Nicholson said he did not know that Hussle owned the mall that housed his clothing store The Marathon and the Master Burger restaurant where Holder had told him to stop so he could buy food.

Without telling him that he knew Hussle from growing up in the same neighborhood and having ties to the same street gang, Holder got out of the car and walked toward Hussle while Nicholson looked for parking.

“I thought he was trying to beat me into going to see him before I saw him,” Nicholson said.

When she joined Holder, he was talking to Hussle, his voice raised to make his point but he didn’t seem aggressive.

“Eric was asking Nipsey, ‘Did you tell anyone I ratted out?'” Nicholson said.

She waited her turn and then took a selfie with Hussle, possibly the last photo she ever appeared in. It was shown in court, with Nicholson smiling in sunglasses and Hussle, bearded in a white T-shirt and white bandana, looking on with a steely gaze. to the camera behind her.

“I was excited, I was happy, I just wanted to show it to my Facebook friends,” said Nicholson, who hurried back to the car and posted the photo.

Holder went into Master Burger, came out with chili fries and told him to go around the block. As she did so, he pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol, loaded her clip, and set it down.

“I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ Put that away, you’re not going to shoot anything out of my car,” Nicholson testified. “He kept it.”

Nicholson said that following Holder’s instructions, she pulled into an alley where he said he wanted to stop and eat. He took a few bites of the fries from her and didn’t seem angry or upset. She told Nicholson not to go anywhere, that she’d be right back.

Nicholson said he thought he might buy a shirt at Hussle’s store. But he soon heard gunshots and saw an older man running.

She considered running away and started moving her car, but changed her mind, worried that Holder might have been hurt.

Previous witnesses in the case testified that they saw Holder shoot Hussle at least 10 times, then kick him in the head before walking away.

On Monday, a prosecutor showed police body camera video of Hussle lying motionless in the parking lot as his brother counted out loud and pressed on his chest, trying to revive him with CPR under the instructions of a 911 operator.

In Nicholson’s car, Holder soon appeared, “walking briskly,” he said, and got in.

“I was like, ‘What happened?’” Nicholson testified. “He said, ‘You talk too much, I should slap you. And he was like, ‘Drive! Drive!’” he said.

Nicholson’s identity was withheld during his 2019 testimony in front of a grand jury. Her name was revealed Monday as she told essentially the same story in open court, with Holder sitting nearby, mostly looking straight ahead and giving no visible response.

Holder refused to speak as he drove him to his Long Beach home on the day of the shooting, Nicholson said.

He would later learn on the local news that Hussle had been murdered. On Facebook, friends said in comments under his photo of Hussle and on his own page that Holder was the suspect.

“Did you start to think at that point that Eric might have done it?” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney asked.

“Yes,” Nicholson replied.

But when Holder called her that night, he asked her to pick him up, and she drove him back to the Los Angeles home.

Nicholson struggled to explain why he would do that after what he had learned before court ended that day.

She testifies again on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.