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
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
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
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.
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"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
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.