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New lawyer claims that Nipsey Hussle’s alleged killer has “significant mental health history”

Deputy Public Defender Aaron Jansen is representing Eric Holder after his previous lawyer, Christopher Darden, stepped down.

Eric Holder/Nipsey Hussle LAPD; GREGG DEGUIRE/GETTY IMAGES

Nipsey Hussle’s alleged killer previously suffered from mental illness, according to his new lawyer. On Tuesday (June 29), Deputy Public Defender Aaron Jansen appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom to represent Eric Holder. During the court hearing, he mentioned his plans to move forward with his client’s case, which has seen many delays due to COVID-19, the retirement of the previously-assigned judge and the resignation of Holder’s previous lawyer, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden.

“A lot of the work was done by my predecessor,” Jansen told the Daily News after the hearing. “Hopefully, by the end of the year, maybe early December, we can go to trial.”

Holder’s forthcoming trial is for the killing of Nipsey, who was fatally shot in front of his Marathon Clothing Store in March 2019. According to court documents, the alleged killer walked up to the emcee and spoke to him about claims that he was a snitch. Following the conversation, Holder went to eat before returning to the scene, firing his gun and striking Nip in his head and torso. He allegedly fled the scene and was eventually captured and arrested. He is now facing one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of felony possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting — all charges he pleaded not guilty to.

Jansen, however, claims he was battling with mental health issues at the time of the shooting. “He does have a significant mental health history,” he said of his client. “One of the things affecting him [in March 2019] was that his mother had just passed away. He was pretty despondent.”

Now, he insists, Holder is doing a lot better. “He’s in good spirits,” Jansen said. “He wants me to send him some books. He’s so isolated [in custody]. He doesn’t get out of his cell much, only one day a week for a few hours to play basketball alone.”

Holder — who was previously denied a bail reduction — showed up at the courthouse for the hearing on Tuesday, but Jansen spoke to the judge on his behalf as he was concerned that the portrayal of his client would be negatively affected because he was in handcuffs.

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