Swedish Hip-Hop Musician Convicted in Man's Death

David Moses Jassy faces a 15-year-to-life term in state prison.

A Swedish hip-hop artist was convicted Monday of the second-degree murder of a pedestrian rights activist, who was kicked in the head on a Hollywood street after rapping on the hood of the musician's rented SUV.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury also found 35-year-old David Moses Jassy guilty of one count each of assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.

The seven-woman, five-man panel acquitted Jassy of the greater charge of first-degree murder, as well as one count each of assault with a deadly weapon -- his SUV -- and leaving a traffic collision resulting in death or injury.

Several jurors said outside court that they were not sure Jassy purposely ran over 55-year-old John Osnes or knew that he had done so following the Nov. 23, 2008, confrontation at Schrader Boulevard and Selma Street.

But one of the jurors said the end result of the fight was "more than necessary."

Osnes, who had been a vocal pedestrian rights activist, used his hands to strike the SUV's hood because it was extending into the crosswalk, witnesses said.

The victim died from head injuries stemming from what Deputy District Attorney Sarika Kapoor called a "brutal kick," along with a liver laceration from being run over following the fight, according to the prosecutor.

Jassy opened his locked door, got out of his car and punched the victim in the face and kicked him in the head when Osnes bent over to pick up his glasses.

"I thought that the attack in this case was brutal. It was unprovoked," the prosecutor said after the verdict, which she called "just."

In testimony last week, Jassy told jurors that he got out of the SUV because he wanted to see what had happened to the rented vehicle and said he 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 responded.

"Did you want to hurt him?" the defense 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.

Authorities said Jassy drove away despite attempts by witnesses, including an off-duty Anaheim police officer, to stop him. He was arrested after Los Angeles police traced him through the rental car's license plate.

Jassy is due back in court March 4 for sentencing, when he is facing a 15-year-to-life term in state prison, said Kapoor.

Family members said the victim was a self-taught "talented pianist" who worked in the travel industry so he could play professionally as much as possible.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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