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Woman who drove man who killed Nipsey Hussle testifies

by The Associated Press | June 21, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Defendant Eric Holder listens during opening statements in his murder trial, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Holder, 32, faces one count of first degree-murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the killing the Grammy Award-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle outside his clothing store three years ago. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)

LOS ANGELES -- A woman testified Monday that she unwittingly drove the man now charged with killing rapper Nipsey Hussle to and from the scene of the shooting, not accepting that he had fired the deadly shots despite seeing him load 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, pulled into a South Los Angeles shopping center on March 31, 2019, she was surprised and gleeful to spot Hussle, whose music she loved.

"I said, 'Ooh, there goes Nipsey, he fine," Nicholson testified, "I want to take a picture with him.'"

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

Nicholson said she had not known that Hussle owned the shopping center that was home to his clothing store The Marathon and the Master Burger restaurant where Holder had told her to stop so he could get food.

Without telling her 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 to Hussle while Nicholson was looking for parking.

"I just thought he was trying to beat me to go 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 not seeming aggressive.

"Eric was asking Nipsey, 'Did you tell somebody I snitched?'" Nicholson said.

photo FILE - Rapper Nipsey Hussle attends an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks in Oakland, Calif., March 29, 2018. Three years after rapper Hussle was gunned down outside a Los Angeles clothing store that he founded to help revitalize the neighborhood where he grew up, a trial will finally begin Wednesday, June 15, 2022, for the man charged with killing him. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
photo Deputy D.A. John McKinney speaks in opening statements during the Eric Holder, murder trial on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles prosecutor says the killing of Nipsey Hussle was premeditated by Holder Jr., charged with fatally shooting the Grammy Award-winning rapper outside his clothing store three years ago. McKinney told jurors during opening statements. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)
photo Defense attorney Aaron Jenson speaks during opening statement during Eric Holder murder trial at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles prosecutor says the killing of Nipsey Hussle was premeditated by a man charged with fatally shooting the Grammy Award-winning rapper outside his clothing store three years ago. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)
photo Defendant Eric Holder listens during opening statements in his murder trial, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Holder, 32, faces one count of first degree-murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the killing the Grammy Award-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle outside his clothing store three years ago. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)
photo Judge H. Clay Jacke listens during the Eric Holder murder trial on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles prosecutor says the killing of Nipsey Hussle was premeditated by a man charged with fatally shooting the Grammy Award-winning rapper outside his clothing store three years ago. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)
photo Defendant Eric Holder, right, and his attorney Aaron Jansen listen during opening statements in Holder's murder trial, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Holder, 32, faces one count of first degree-murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the killing the Grammy Award-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle outside his clothing store three years ago. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)
photo Defendant Eric Holder and his attorney Aaron Jansen, right, listen during opening statements in Holder's murder trial, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Holder, 32, faces one count of first degree-murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the killing the Grammy Award-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle outside his clothing store three years ago. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via AP, Pool)

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