Christopher Darden, the attorney who gained national attention as a prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, is stepping away from another high-profile case.
Darden had decided to defend Eric Holder, the man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle. Holder is currently being held on $5 million bail, charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Holder pleaded not guilty, and a judge was going to set a preliminary hearing date on Friday, but now that must wait until he is given a public defender.
Darden addressed the matter on Facebook, saying he and his family have been receiving death threats as a result of his decision to represent Holder.
“I thought I should tell you, my friends, first & before anyone else. As for my reasons for withdrawing I don’t know whether I will disclose them later or not. I only know that as a lawyer it is my duty to protect the rights of my clients even in the face of threats or angry mobs,” Darden wrote.
“I cannot understand why in 2019 some people would deny a black man his 6th Amendment right to counsel of his choice. Or why defending such a man should invite threats not only against me but against my children too. The right to counsel is not only a constitutional right, it is a civil right as well,” he continued.
“To those who issued those threats to my children please pay close attention so there is no misunderstanding. Later. F*** YOU! As for me, I continue to thrive,” Darden said.
The attorney ended his post by writing, "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."
Nipsey Hussle was killed on March 31 in front of his own store, The Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles.