The woman who prosecutors say drove a getaway car just after rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot to death in 2019 testified Tuesday (June 21) that she was unwitting that the accused gunman Eric Holder planned to shoot him.
According to the Associated Press, Bryannita Nicholson, 35, said she was casually seeing Holder for approximately five weeks when they pulled into a South Los Angeles shopping center, which is where Hussle owned the clothing store, The Marathon, on March 31, 2019.
Nicholson testified she was driving and saw Hussle, “I said, ‘Ooh, there goes Nipsey, he fine. I want to take a picture with him.’”
Nicholson claims Holder told her stop so he could get some food in the shopping center. Holder approached Hussle first, “I just thought he was trying to beat me to go see him before I saw him.” Nicholson said, “Eric was asking Nipsey, ‘Did you tell somebody I snitched?’”
Holder eventually walked away and went into Master Burger.
“I was just excited, I was just happy, I just wanted to show my Facebook friends,” Nicholson explained, who got a selfie with the rapper and would go back to the car. She then posted the picture on her social media.
Holder exited the Master Burger with food, returned to the car and told her to drive around the block. Nicholson testified he then pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun, loaded its magazine, and attached it.
“I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ You put that away, you ain’t going to shoot nothing outside my car,” Nicholson said. “He did put it away.”
Nicholson said Holder told her to pull into an alley because he wanted to stop and eat. She then alleged Holder told her not to go anywhere and he would be right back. He exited the car, soon after, she heard gunshots. Concerned Holder may have been hurt, she didn’t leave. Holder returned and they drove off.
“I was like, ‘What happened?,’” Nicholson testified. “He said, ‘You talk too much I ought to slap you.’ And he was just like, ‘Drive! Drive!’” Holder refused to talk and Nicholson dropped him off in Long Beach, California. Nicholson claimed she only knew Nipsey Hussle had been killed via the local news.
“Did it start to occur to you at that moment that Eric might have done it?” Deputy District Attorney John McKinney asked. “Yes,” Nicholson answered.
Nicholson also said Holder called her later that night and asked her to pick him up, which she did and brought him back to Los Angeles. The Associated Press said Nicholson “struggled to explain why she would do that after what she had learned.”
Nicholson has received immunity in exchange for her testimony.
Holder allegedly shot Hussle at least 10 times, wounded two other people, and kicked Hussle in the head before making his getaway. The police arrested Holder after a two-day manhunt.
According to McKinney, Hussle and Holder were members of the Rollin’ 60s gang, a set of the Crips, while growing up. Holder, 32, faces one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He faces a life sentence if convicted.
Hussle, who turned his life around to become a community organizer and entrepreneur, was much-beloved in South Los Angeles. He left behind two children, one of whom he shared with longtime partner Lauren London.