Attorney for suspect in Nipsey Hussle's killing withdraws

Attorney says threats were made against his family

By Amir Vera, CNN
Damian Dovarganes-Pool/Getty Images

Eric Ronald Holder Jr., 29, who is accused of killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle, appears for arraignment with his Attorney Christopher Darden (L) on April 4, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.

(CNN) - The attorney representing the suspect in the shooting of rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle has withdrawn from the case, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court Clerk.

Christopher Darden, best known as one of the prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson case in the 1990s, had been representing Eric Holder, 29. Holder is charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is being held on $5 million bail.

A judge was expected to set a preliminary hearing date for Holder on Friday, but that was delayed until he's assigned a public defender.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Darden addressed his withdrawal from the case. He accused unnamed people of threatening his family and said he does not know whether he would disclose his reasons for withdrawing from the case.

"I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice," Darden wrote. "Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too."

He said the right to counsel is not only a constitutional right but a civil right as well.

"Just as they were in 1995-Cowards never change," Darden said, referring to the threats he received while prosecuting 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."

Darden ended his post by saying he would continue to thrive, be loved and "walk with kings."

"I will continue my pursuit of fairness and justice on behalf of my clients and others charged with crimes," he wrote. "After 25 years some of them still haven't learned: Their lies and threats will never deter me from my mission."

Hussle, 33, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was a beloved rapper, entrepreneur and philanthropist in his community in Los Angeles. He was shot dead in March outside his clothing store.

CNN's Stella Chan contributed to this report.

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