The attorney representing the man accused of gunning down Nipsey Hussle said Friday he is withdrawing from the case, citing personal reasons.
Chris Darden, a former prosecutor, announced the decision in aFacebook postFriday morning, noting that he and his children had received threats after he took on the case.
“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 wrote. “Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too.”
He told The Times outside a downtown Los Angeles courtroom that he has been defending accused criminals, including gang members, for two decades.
When asked why he took on the case of Eric Holder, who is accused in the fatal shooting of Hussle, he said: “I defend poor people — that’s all I do. And he’s definitely poor.”
Darden was one of the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson trial, in which the former football star was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. But in the years since, Darden has worked as a defense attorney in murder cases.
He questioned why the public has fixated on his role in the Nipsey Hussle case.
“Twenty-five years I’ve been defending criminal cases. Why is that so interesting?” he said.
Hussle, a celebrated rapper and community activist, was outside his shop on Slauson Avenue March 31, when a man approached and opened fire.
Hussle was fatally wounded, and two others were also shot.
Police alleged Holder had gotten into a dispute with Hussle earlier in the day and returned to the Hyde Park storefront with a gun and started shooting.
He fled in a waiting car, police said. Graphic video from a surveillance camera shows a gunman walking up to Hussle and two other men in front of the shop. The gunman opens fire, and Hussle falls to the ground as the other men run from the gunfire.