Chris Darden, the attorney who previously stepped up to defend the man accused of murdering Nipsey Hussle, has had a change of plans.
As announced Friday (May 10) in a statement on Facebook, the former prosecutor confirmed that he is withdrawing from the case and will no longer be defending suspect Eric Holder, citing personal reasons. As noted in his statement, Holder had a hearing scheduled for Friday in L.A. Superior Court, one that Darden explained would be the last time he will appear in court for the case.
During his statement, Darden reveals that he has received death threats since taking on Holder's murder case. He then goes on to explain how the outpouring of backlash and hatred reminded him of the O.J. Simpson case, during which he prosecuted the former football player in his infamous double murder trial.
"As for my reasons for withdrawing I don't know whether I will disclose them later or not," Darden wrote. "I only know that as a lawyer it is my duty to protect the rights of my clients even in the face of threats or angry mobs. This is the silent solemn oath we took as defense counsel. This is the legacy made for me and all of us who practice as defense counsel in the criminal courts."
He then goes on to question why the public has been fixated on his role in the case, going on to defend Holder's right to a fair trial.
"After centuries of a history of black men hung from trees without trial, or after the thousands of cases of black men tried, convicted and executed without counsel ... I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice," he continued. "Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too. The right to counsel is is not only a constitutional right, it is a civil right as well. Just as they were in 1995-Cowards never change. 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."
After a not-so-subtle F-U to his haters, the attorney ended his statement with a flip on Nipsey's mantra--"The marathon continues"--concluding his comments with "The struggle continues. Thank you."
Nipsey was fatally shot outside his Marathon clothing store on March 31 and two others were also caught in the gunfire.
Police allege that Holder, who was soon arrested and charged after initially fleeing the scene, had gotten into an argument with Nipsey earlier in the day. The late rapper and community leader's team recently debunked rumors that Holder was signed to his All Money In record label.
Take a look at Chris Darden's statement in full below.