In the early morning hours of November 22, 2008, John Osnes, a 55-year-old professional pianist living in Hollywood was walking home from a local restaurant when he came upon an SUV blocking his way in the crosswalk. Osnes gave the hood of the vehicle a little slap in an effort to draw attention to the driver that he was in the crosswalk.
And that’s when all heck broke loose.
The driver of the SUV, a rapper from Sweden by the name of David Moses Jassy, became enraged and hurriedly exited the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He ran up on John Osnes and promptly punched the musician in his face, causing his eyeglasses to fall to the ground. As a stunned Osnes bent over to pick up his glasses, Jassy proceeded to kick his victim in the head several times; Osnes was again thrown to the ground.
At fifty pounds lighter than David Jassy, John Osnes was basically defenseless against his attacker.
Witnesses tried to help as Jassy continued to violently punch and kick Osnes. Somehow Jassy was able to get away and return to his car; he then immediately fled the scene. While doing so, David Jassy ran over the severely injured John Osnes, crushing him.
An off-duty police officer happened to be near by and was able to write down the license plate number of Jassy’s rented SUV. With the assistance of the rental company, authorities located David Jassy a few hours later and arrested him.
John Osnes died the next day as a result of his injuries.
David Moses Jassy was charged with one count of murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and ordered to surrender his U.S. Passport; his bail was set at one million dollars.
Osnes, who prided himself on performing classic jazz standards throughout the night club circuit in Hollywood, was, ironically enough, a pedestrian’s rights advocate who, according to his sister “was very sensitive to how pedestrians were ignored by motorists.” Osnes had “little patience for discourteous drivers.” Osnes, who also worked part-time as a travel agent, came to Los Angeles in 2005. Prior to that, Osnes had lived in Minneapolis and New York and seemed proud of the fact that he never owned a vehicle, but was able to navigate the large, Metropolitan cities with ease by way of foot.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday…..
David Moses Jassy’s trial began with his defense attorney arguing that the death of John Osnes was an act of self-defense.
Yes, that’s actually what he is claiming – that David Jassy killed John Osnes (who they are claiming was drunk) because he feared for his safety.
The lawyer said David Jassy, a 35-year-old songwriter and producer from Stockholm, got out of his rented vehicle and assaulted pedestrian John Osnes, a 55-year-old jazz pianist, because he feared for the safety of himself, his girlfriend and the SUV.
“He finds himself confronted with an angry drunk who has been hitting his car,” attorney Alec Rose said. “He exercised his lawful right . . . to defend himself, his girlfriend and his property.”
The prosecution contends Jassy was the aggressor in the November 2008 encounter.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Sarika Kapoor told jurors that Jassy’s failure to yield to Osnes, who was walking home from a neighborhood piano bar, triggered the confrontation and that his decision to exit his car turned what might otherwise have been an exchange of unpleasant words into murder.
“That choice is why you are all here today and John Osnes is not here,” Kapoor told jurors.
The first witness, a passenger in a nearby vehicle, testified that Osnes smacked the hood of the SUV after it nearly struck him, but retreated to the sidewalk as soon as Jassy got out.
Rebecca Rinn broke into tears as she described Jassy punching Osnes repeatedly and then kicking him in the head when he stooped to retrieve his glasses. The blow, she said, rendered him immediately unconscious.
“It threw Mr. Osnes into the air and onto his back. . . . I saw his head hit and it just kinda bounced off the ground,” she said.
In regards to David Jassy driving over the body of an unconscious John Osnes, Jassy’s lawyer maintains that his client fled in fear and did not realize the victim was on the ground.
During pre-trial hearings, David Jassy tried to have the charges against him reduced to manslaughter, but was unsuccessful. If convicted of murder, David Moses Jassy faces the possibility of a life sentence.
So let me get this straight…..David Jassy was so afraid of a drunk man in the crosswalk that he had no choice but to leave his vehicle and beat the man to death?
Hmmm, I dunno, sounds a bit fishy to me.