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Accused gunman pleads not guilty in death of Nipsey Hussle

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Fans gather at a makeshift memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle in the parking lot of his clothing store in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 31. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/eef2ed00502e5c0d60b420ac4307284b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Fans gather at a makeshift memorial for rapper Nipsey Hussle in the parking lot of his clothing store in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 31. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

April 5 (UPI) -- The man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Eric Ronald Holder Jr. entered the plea in a Los Angeles courtroom on Thursday. He faces one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. If convicted, he'd face a life sentence. Holder, 29, is being held on $5 million bail.

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Hussle, whose legal name is Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was shot dead Sunday outside The Marathon Clothing store he owned in Los Angeles. Holder and Asghedom got into a dispute outside the store when Holder left and returned with a handgun, Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said.

"I'm not going to go into the conversations, but it appears to be a personal matter between the two of them," Moore said.

Officials said two people at the scene were injured in the confrontation.

Holder is being represented by attorney Chris Darden, a member of the prosecution team that famously tried O.J. Simpson in 1995.

A Grammy-nominated rapper, Asghedom had belonged to a gang when he was younger but ultimately left the streets for a career in music. He was shot a short time before he was scheduled to meet with Los Angeles police to talk about preventing gang violence.

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