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Swedish hip-hop artist sentenced to 15-years-to-life in prison for Hollywood road rage murder

March 4, 2010 | 11:48 am

David JassyA judge sentenced a Swedish hip-hop artist to 15 years to life in prison Thursday for the road rage murder of a pedestrian in a Hollywood crosswalk.

Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson rejected a motion by defense attorneys to reduce David Jassy’s second-degree murder conviction to manslaughter, citing the brutality of the 2008 killing and the defendant’s “phony” trial testimony in which he claimed he acted in self-defense.

“I’ve independently reviewed the evidence, and I agree completely with the jury verdict,” Johnson said.

Under the terms of the mandatory sentence, Jassy, 35, who has been jailed since the incident, will be eligible for parole in 2024, when he is 49. He was convicted last month of the fatal assault on John Osnes, a 55-year-old jazz pianist, during a late-night confrontation at the intersection of Selma Boulevard and Schrader Avenue.

Witnesses said Osnes, who was on foot, struck the hood of Jassy’s rented sport utility vehicle with his hands after the vehicle edged into the crosswalk. Jassy responded, the witnesses said, by leaping from his vehicle, punching Osnes in the face and then kicking him in the head as he bent over.

Johnson told Jassy he did not believe his claim that Osnes, a tall, thin man, posed a danger to the rapper, his girlfriend and his automobile, which the judge described as “a three-quarter ton gross weight sport utility vehicle.”

Before sentencing, a former partner and friend of Osnes, James Crowley, told the judge he felt the victim’s gentle nature was “maligned” by the defense. Osnes would never have pounded his fists violently on the SUV hood, Crowley said, because as a pianist “he valued his hands.”

Crowley told the judge he saw “no winners” in the jury verdict. The two dozen friends who packed the courtroom had lost Osnes, he said. Then, turning to Jassy, he said, “You lost most of your life. You lost your son for all practical purposes. You lost the girl you loved.” The rapper's 11-year-old son lives in Sweden.

Jassy did not speak during the sentencing. His lawyers filed papers Thursday saying they intended to appeal the case.

-- Harriet Ryan at L.A. Superior Court downtown

Photo: KTLA

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