Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hip Hop Artist Charged in Death of Hollywood Man

A Swedish Hip Hop artist was charged with murder Tuesday in the death of a Hollywood pianist who was killed during an alleged road rage incident last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced.

An amended complaint charging 34-year-old David Moses Jassy with one count of murder, along with an additional count of assault with a deadly weapon, was filed prior to the defendant’s scheduled arraignment today.

Jassy originally was charged on Nov. 25 with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident. At the time the case was filed, an autopsy had not been performed on the victim, 55-year-old John Osnes. Prosecutors said at the time that the case remained under investigation.

The murder count alleged that Jassy personally used a “deadly and dangerous weapon, to wit, automobile,” to commit the crime. The additional assault charge also alleged an automobile was the deadly weapon.

Osnes was crossing a street in Hollywood around 1 a.m. on Nov. 23 when a rented vehicle driven by Jassy moved into the crosswalk. Authorities said Osnes, a pedestrian rights advocate, struck Jassy’s car on the hood. Jassy, police said, got out and punched the victim in the face. When Osnes bent down to retrieve his glasses, police said, the defendant kicked him in the head and drove away.

Several witnesses, including an off-duty Anaheim police officer, tried to stop Jassy from driving away, authorities said. The police officer took the license number of the vehicle, which was traced to Jassy. The defendant was arrested several hours later.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail. He faces a possible life-with-parole prison term.

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