LOS ANGELES – A judge on Thursday ordered an eyewitness to the shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle for failing to appear in court with a man accused of murder and his absence being witnessed by a police detective on suspicion of witnesses who identified the case. .
Evan “Rimpau” MacKenzie, a close friend of Hussle, who was firing at his funeral and standing next to him when he was shot, repeatedly ignored the daily orders that ordered him to appear and testify to the prosecution. , which led to Judge H. Clay Jacke II issuing a $ 500,000 bank guarantee.
“Mr. Mackenzie, is he reluctant to testify?” Asked Aaron Jansen, a lawyer for Eric Holder, Los Angeles Police Detective Cedric Washington, who replied that MacKenzie had said a lot in telephone conversations.
The ban on “tightening” covers all aspects of the trial of Holder, who was charged with first-degree murder on Hussle’s death in 2019 and attempted murder because two spectators were hit by guns. It was a conversation between Holder and Hussle on the subject – in which Hussle told Holder that there were rumors in the “papers” indicating that he had spoken to the authorities – that the plaintiffs pointed to Holder’s motive for returning to Hussle in a few minutes. to shoot.
The shooting took place mostly in the Black South neighborhood of Los Angeles, where men and most witnesses grew up and where distrust of the police and the courts was even deeper. Even Hussle’s friends and fans and the people hit by Holder’s bullet were reluctant to speak in public.
“I don’t know anything, I don’t see anything,” Kerry Lathan, who was injured in the shooting, said last week in the stands and refused to identify himself in the video for the jury. He holds on like a shooter.
“Don’t you want to testify about what happened?” He was heard by Deputy District Attorney John McKinney. “Exactly,” Lathan replied.
On Thursday, Jansen tried to resolve doubts about Holder’s and Hussle’s relationship with the Rollin ’60 street gang.
“Is he often reluctant to testify in gang cases?” Jansen asked.
“I’m not limiting it to gangs,” Washington replied.
“I asked about gang issues,” Jansen said.
“I think so,” Washington said.
Jansen continued, “Many witnesses in this case say they don’t want to go to court, and they feel their families are in danger, don’t they?”
Washington admits it exists.
In subsequent questions from prosecutors, Washington downplayed the gang aspect.
“Many of the cases I’ve investigated aren’t part of gang cases. I know a lot of people are reluctant to go to court or talk to law enforcement,” Washington said. “Everything looks like that. When I think they could get revenge from the court.”
“Was there a threat in this case to a witness who accused her of sobbing?” McKinney asked. “Do you know of any damage done to anyone in this case as a result of a testimony or an interview with the police?”
Washington answered no to the two questions and acknowledged that an anonymous caller had threatened Bryannita Nicholson last week for behaving like an unintentional plane driver. from Holder.
Nicholson, who received opposition in exchange for his testimony, hid his identity when he testified before a grand jury in 2019.
He received a phone call last week after his identity was known, but before he could get up.
“There was a man’s voice saying something to the effect that you killed Nipsey Hussle,” Washington said. “Bryannita stopped the call.”
McKinney emphasized that the threat did not concern his testimony, but his role in Hussle’s death.
Nicholson was given special protection and was accompanied by a special entrance for his two-day testimony this week, in which he seemed to speak freely and confidently without showing any hesitation. Some were even more skeptical and obscured the position, although many witnesses called Holder a shooter, so it is unlikely that the absence and silence of other witnesses could do much damage to the wall.
The defense admitted that Holder had shot Hussle, but said there was no intent and that he was not guilty of first-degree murder.
The plaintiffs will have only one witness before leaving their case, and the jury may soon be able to do so.
“Unless Rimpau is caught,” McKinney said after the trial.