One of the former prosecutors in the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial will leave the case of the alleged Nipsey Hussle shooter after receiving a slew of death threats.
The Los Angeles Times reports attorney Chris Darden will no longer defend suspected shooter Eric Holder. In a Facebook post published Friday, Darden said he has chosen to withdraw from the case after family members were subjected to online harassment.
“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 ... 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.”
Famed rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his Marathon Clothing store in late March.
Following a heated exchange with Holder, the 33-year-old business owner was shot several times along with two other men. Holder, who is 29, is accused of pulling the trigger. Darden came on to case in April and now leaves as critics threaten him and his family's lives.
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The beleaguered attorney has been subjected to vitriol and criticism since prosecuting disgraced former NFL running back O.J. Simpson.
For the last 25 years, he made a name for himself defending poor, Black men in a justice system that is not always been fair to them. He defended his decision to take on the Holder case citing the accused's race and economic status.
“Just as they were in 1995 — Cowards never change,” he wrote. “These days these cowards don’t send letters instead they sit anonymously behind keyboards threatening a man’s mother and children.”
A judge granted Darden his request and now public defender, Mearl Lottman, will represent the suspected gunman. The 63-year-old left critics and would-be harassers a final message, while assuring supporters he will continue fighting for the little guy.
"Later. F**K YOU! As for me, I continue to thrive. I continue to be loved. I continue to walk with kings. And I will continue my pursuit of fairness and justice on behalf of my clients and others charged with crimes."
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