The lawyer defending the suspected killer of rapper Nipsey Hussle has dropped out of the case, citing death threats aimed at him and his family.
Chris Darden posted a message on Facebook May 10 explaining the conditions of his withdrawal from representing Eric Holder in the case.
“I am on my way to appear for the last time in People v. Holder. I filed a Motion to Withdraw from the case. I thought I should tell you, my friends, first & before anyone else,” he wrote.
He then asked why people wouldn’t want him to represent his client, since everyone has the right to legal representation. He said black Americans historically did not have the opportunity to obtain representation in the past.
“I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice,” Darden wrote in the post. “Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too. The right to counsel is is not only a constitutional right, it is a civil right as well. Just as they were in 1995-Cowards never change.”
Darden was referring back to his time as a prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and the similar struggles he faced during that time. He went on to explain the differences between back then and now.
“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. To those who issued those threats to my children please pay close attention so there is no misunderstanding. Later. [expletive] YOU!”
Darden continued the post with another reference to the Simpson trial.
“And I will continue my pursuit of fairness and justice on behalf of my clients and others charged with crimes. After 25 years some of them still haven’t learned : Their lies and threats will never deter me from my mission. Thank you again my good friends. The struggle continues. Thank you.”
Hussle was shot in the head and torso outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31. He died 35 minutes later, TMZ reported. Two other people were also shot in the incident and both survived. Police believe the shooter seen on surveillance video is Eric Holder.
Although he did not have a will, Hussle left his financial affairs in order for his family, TMZ reported. He set up multiple trust funds before his death, ensuring his two children would be financially secure.
The family even had to turn down high-profile fundraisers started by celebrities and others meant to raise money to care for Hussle’s kids.
Hussle’s brother, Blacc Sam, is seeking control of Hussle’s estate so that he can manage the business opportunities that have come in after his brother’s death, including those based on Hussle’s life story and career, according to TMZ.
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Hussle’s sister, Samantha Smith, is seeking guardianship of his 10-year-old daughter. She believes that the girl’s mother is unable to care for her, and she wants to keep the girl close to Hussle’s family, TMZ reported.