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West Coast vs. Baltic Coast?: Swedish Rapper Gets 15 to Life for Deadly LA Attack

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Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 1:52 PM

click to enlarge Swedish rapper, now felon Jassy
  • Swedish rapper, now felon Jassy
The AP wire reports that Swedish hip-hop artist David Moses Jassy has been sentenced to 15 years to life for killing a guy who dissed him by slapping his SUV.

Jassy was found guilty of acrobatically kicking irate pedestrian (and fellow musician) John Osnes in the head and running him over, causing the man's death.

From the AP report by Terri Vermeulen Keith:

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson denied the defense's

motions for a new trial and to reduce David Moses Jassy's second-degree

murder conviction to manslaughter, saying he agreed "completely'' with the jury's

Feb. 1 verdict.

``The defendant was the aggressor at all times on the night John Osnes

was killed,'' the judge said, noting that Jassy had nearly run the 55-year-old man over in the crosswalk on Nov. 23, 2008, before the pedestrian slapped the vehicle.

He noted that Jassy hit Osnes and knocked off his eyeglasses, then, as the man bent over to pick them up, kicked the victim with a ``powerful full- force athletic kick'' that sent him toppling over into the street in front of shocked witnesses.

In his haste to flee the scene, Jassy ran over the victim's body with

the SUV and ignored an off-duty police officer's commands to stop, the judge

said.

More from the AP report:

"In my mind, there is no question that this is a murder,'' the judge

said, adding that he believed Jassy "deserves every bit of punishment."

The victim -- also a musician who had been a vocal pedestrians' rights

advocate -- died from head injuries stemming from the ``brutal kick,'' along

with a liver laceration from being run over following the fight, according

to Deputy District Attorney Sarika Kapoor.

Along with second-degree murder, the 35-year-old defendant was convicted

of one count each of assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury

and battery with serious bodily injury.

Jurors acquitted Jassy of the greater charge of first-degree murder, as

well as one count each of assault with a deadly weapon -- the SUV -- and

leaving a traffic collision resulting in death or injury.

Several jurors said outside court after the verdict that they were not

sure Jassy intentionally ran over Osnes or knew that he had. But one juror

said the end result of the fight was "more than necessary.''

In letters read by a family friend, Osnes' two youngest sisters wrote

that they are still grieving his death.

"Invariably, even though I was not there, my thoughts of John are often

accompanied by a mental picture of my brother lying dead on the pavement, a

pool of blood forming behind his head. I also am haunted by the testimony

that after hitting him the first time, David Jassy 'drop-kicked' his head,

causing it to bounce on the pavement,'' Kris Osnes wrote.

The woman noted that she and her brother either spoke on the phone or

left a voice mail for each other every day, which invariably ended with

mutual "I love yous,'' and that every time her phone rings, she wishes it was her

brother calling.

She said she has saved his last two voice mails to listen to now and

again to hear his voice.

Mary Beth Osnes Anderson addressed her letter to the defendant.

"Mr. Jassy, try as I might to make sense of what happened to my brother

the night he was killed, I will never, ever understand. I will always love

my brother and I will be forever sad,'' she wrote.

Osnes was crossing the street at Schrader Boulevard and Selma Avenue in

Hollywood when he used his hands to strike Jassy's hood because the

defendant's vehicle extended into the crosswalk, and Jassy got out of the SUV to

confront him, authorities said.

"I thought that the attack in this case was brutal. It was

unprovoked,'' the prosecutor said after the verdict, which she called

"just.''

Jassy testified that he got out of the SUV because he wanted to see what

had happened to the rented vehicle and thought it was ``going to be an

argument, not a fight.''

"Did you want to fight this man?'' defense attorney Alec Rose asked.

"No,'' Jassy answered.

"Did you want to hurt him?'' his attorney asked.

"No,'' Jassy again responded.

"Did you want this to happen?'' Rose asked, showing a photo of the

victim's battered face.

"No, and I really want the family to understand that,'' the musician

testified.

Wiping tears from his eyes, Jassy said he didn't know Osnes had died

until he was talking the next day with police, and told jurors he began

crying upon learning the news.

After the sentence was handed down, Rose said he intends to file a

notice of appeal on Jassy's behalf.

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