U.S. NEWS

Attorney Chris Darden To Stop Representing Nipsey Hussle's Accused Killer

"As for my reasons for withdrawing I don’t know whether I will disclose them later or not," the lawyer wrote on Facebook.

Christopher Darden, the attorney for Eric Holder, the man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle, recently announced plans to withdraw from the case, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

In a Facebook post published Friday morning, Darden, who was on the prosecution team for the famed 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson, wrote that he was on his way to appear in People v. Holder for “the last time.”

“I filed a Motion to Withdraw from the case,” he wrote. “I thought I should tell you, my friends, first & before anyone else. As for my reasons for withdrawing I don’t know whether I will disclose them later or not.”

Darden received criticism from some people on social media for representing Holder, who was charged last month with murder and two counts of attempted murder in relation to the fatal shooting of Hussle on March 31. Holder pleaded not guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges. 

Hussle, a Grammy-nominated rapper born Ermias Asghedom, was lauded for his community activism and efforts to revitalize the South Los Angeles community where he was raised. 

Chris Darden appearing in court on April 4, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Chris Darden appearing in court on April 4, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Darden addressed the criticism he has received in his Facebook post, noting that it is his “duty to protect the rights of my clients even in the face of threats or angry mobs.”

He continued, “But allow me to say this; 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; after Gideon v. Wainwright & Powell v. Alabama, I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice.”

The attorney added that he and his family had received threats after he began representing Holder. He called the backlash reminiscent of 1995, an apparent reference to the response to his role in trying Simpson.

“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.”

A spokesperson for The Los Angeles District County Attorney’s Office confirmed to HuffPost via email that Holder is being represented by the public defenders’ office. 

Darden told the Times that he has been practicing criminal defense for years and that he represents “regular people.”

This article has been updated to include a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. 

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