David Moses Jassy, Killer with an SUV, Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder

2_2_10_jassy.jpgPhoto: City Pages

One case that we’ve followed nearly as closely as the "Road Rage Doctor" case has been the trial of David Jassy, a wannabe rapper from Sweden who actually out "raged" the good Doctor."  Yesterday, Jassy was found guilty of Second Degree Murder.  The Times’ LA Now Blog reports:


He faces 15 years to life at a sentencing next month.

Witnesses said Jassy, 35, punched, kicked and then ran over John Osnes, a
55-year-old jazz pianist, during the November 2008 incident.  Osnes,
who did not own a car and was an advocate for pedestrian rights, had
struck with his hands the front of Jassy’s SUV after it edged into a
Hollywood crosswalk.

The sad part of the story is that the Times’ description of the attack in yesterday’s piece doesn’t even begin to describe the out-of-control rage that Jassy, who claimed self-defense, displayed that night. Let’s re-set the scene as described in previous Times articles and reported on Streetsblog.

John Osnes was walking home from an evening with friends at Hollywood bars The Spotlight and The Piano Bar. While crossing a street in Hollywood, Jassy’s SUV crossed part way into his crosswalk before coming to a stop.  Osnes was crossing with the signal, and registered his annoyance with Jassy, whom he had never met, by hitting the SUV with his hands.  Jassy then exited the vehicle and punched Osnes, who weighed 155 pounds, in the face.

Osnes fell to his knees and while he was searching for his glasses, Jassy kicked him in the head.  While Osnes lay bleeding and stunned on the ground, Jassy re-entered his SUV.  As he revved the engine to run Osnes over, an off-duy Anaheim police officer jumped on the side of the SUV and slapped his badge on the window demanding that Jassy stop.  (Update, 2/4/10 – A commenter noted that there is no evidence that Jassy "gunned his engine" and reading other reports I have to concede that there are many things he could have been doing that allowed the officer the time to act.)  Jassy ignored the officer, ran over Osnes and sped off.  Osnes was killed instantly.

Jassy’s defense was a picture of desperate tactics.  They tried everything from claiming self-defense, to intimidation by the off-duty Anaheim police officer to what we’ve termed the "these things happen, hasn’t anyone seen the movie Crash" defense.  Fortunately, nobody was fooled by any of these arguments.


    Jeez!!! He is clearly an evil coward because he got out of his abused RENTAL car and BEAT a person to death, and ran over him to make sure he was completely dead. How can anybody think that’s a good thing? This is one of those things that makes you wonder what people are thinking when they call this a “tragedy” or a “incident.” It’s a damn outrage!! I’m not the only one that feels that. That is why the judge didn’t reduce the charge and didn’t lower his bail. That is why his girlfriend skipped town. I’ve had all kinds of dealings with people on the road and not once did I ever get out of my car and try and kill them.

  • Toddges

    Hearing this story shocked me and I was appalled that he only got sentenced to 2nd degree murder. I mean, he did 2 very deliberate actions to cause John Osnes death; the first was to kick him so hard in the head that he caused a fatal skull fracture, and THEN he ran the guy over, killing him instantly!

    If he hadn’t run the guy over with his car, and just the skull fracture alone killed John Osnes, perhaps then I could see this being second degree murder. But because he did BOTH of these things to cause John Osnes death, I really think he should have been charged with 1st degree murder.
    What was he trying to do, if not kill John Osnes?

    VoiceOfReason, I’m sorry Jassy is your friend. If he ever gets out of prison and you reunite with him, then perhaps you two will get into a fight one day, because you stepped on his toes or he misinterprets something you said or a look you give him, and then I’m sure after that fight you will understand why the rest of us lack sympathy for him- if you’re still alive to reflect on it.

  • realname Malin


    Scientific reports? You must be joking. As all psychologists know all behaviour and personality expressions are a result of interaction between genes and environment. There is impossible to separate these two as this interaction starts in the womb. And behavioural experiments on fetuses I believe even you could see the difficulties with. As with most research – especially on behaviour and it’s connection with genes one often finds a greater diversity within groups for instance female/male or ethnic groups than between groups. Meaning… no statistically significant difference.

    And when it comes to that gene and it’s alleles… clearly you need to read the first part again. One individuals lack of impulse control is not scientific proof to be generalized to an entire group. But that is your main problem and you don’t seem to be aware of your ignorance. One can say you’re ignorant of your own ignorance. Step one is to be aware of that ignorance. SO good for YOU that you gave me the chance to inform you!!

    But as I stated previously… you probably should have known this if you just broadened your intake of news and reports. I gather that the pages you’re interested in doesn’t revolve around scientific proof in a real sense. Because no one stating the things you do could really pas a higher education program.

    But good luck on your newfound interest in learning more about the world!

  • Crime rates are positively correlated with the “blackness” of a community. Blacks are overrepresented in crime statistics and this is a fact. However, causation has not been established. There is no evidence that race is biological. If race is a social construct, then there must be some other reason for why blacks are overrepresented in crime statistics.

    Personally, I think it’s simple. Poverty is the number one cause of crime. Discrimination against blacks eroded opportunity and helped sustain poverty.

    And I believe the solution is light rail!

  • mattias

    ( sorry for the length of this comment. I like to write. :) It might be worth reading though. It is just the first 10 rows that are personal, the rest is factual. )

    So fun to argument with realnameMalin. She really likes to offend her opponent and calling names. Just hear this list, which is just from her last comment:

    “Scientific reports? You must be joking…”
    “… I believe even you…”
    “…clearly you need to read the first part…”
    “…that is your main problem…”
    “… you don’t seem to be aware of your ignorance…”
    “…Step one is to be aware of that ignorance…”
    “…known this if you just broadened your intake …”
    “… interested in doesn’t revolve around scientific proof…”
    “… no one stating the things you do could really pas(sic) a higher education…”

    She seem REAL nice. Don’t you think? Please, ya’ all, enlighten me if I get that sure of myself being right and everyone with different opinions wrong.

    And to address the ‘facts’ ( without being personal and lowering me to the same kindergarten level ):

    – realnamemalin: Yes of course. All animals, including humans, are a product of environment and genes. But that does NOT mean that it is impossible to separate the effect of the two. You can do statistical surveys, twin surveys. You can measure the income of 10000 people of two ethnically separated groups, in the same country and compare them with the same income, same education, same everything. And you will see an IMPLICATION of what the genes are contributing. With big enough sample size you can learn a lot.

    This, though, is actually an interesting argument from you. You are actually, even though I think you do not understand that, stating that you have no proof of your OWN opinion. You think you are destroying my point of view, but you are actually destroying your own. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT WRONG? I know I may be wrong. I hope I am.

    Let me ask you this then: If you can not, according to yourself, prove what you state, how come that you are so sure of your believes that you actually start to offend people that do not believe the same as you. Is this a trait of yours? Had you been a bookburner 300 years ago? A witchburner 600 years ago? And a good little nazi just 50 years ago. None of these actors liked people that was different… You are the one that are a bigot.

    Here are facts from a study:
    “The role of genotype and environment (nature and nurture) in determining IQ is reviewed in Plomin et al. (2001, 2003). [29] [not in citation given] Until recently heritability was mostly studied in children. Various studies find the heritability of IQ between 0.4 and 0.8 in the United States; [30] [31] [32] that is, depending on the study, a little less than half to substantially more than half of the variation in IQ among the children studied was estimated to be due to genetic variation”
    “It is reasonable to expect that genetic influences on traits like IQ should become less important as one gains experiences with age. However, the opposite occurs. Heritability measures in infancy are as low as 20%, around 40% in middle childhood, and as high as 80% in adulthood. ”

    so, realnameMalin, maybe it is not only me that belives that IQ is influenced by genes. The scientific community thinks so too, even though I am sooo stupid.

    -spokker. You are of course right. Powerty will be a factor in this. But the question is if it is the ONLY factor? Might there be several? For instance, genes? Studies regarding adoption of people of one ethnical group by families of another is suggesting that there IS an inheritative factor for intelligence. ( see above ). In sweden we don’t really have powerty like you do in the US. We have a well developed social security system. Not many needs to starve or live on the streets. And still we have the same problems.

    – realnamemalin: ” finds a greater diversity within groups”. This is an old tricky argument that I have seen a lot of times by politicians, trying to explain away differencies. But they are missing the point. OF COURSE it is greater diversity within the group. This has nothing to do with race. If you have an inheritative trait of a group, and that is a result from several genes interacting, you will get a bell curve-like distribution curve of the given trait ( the normal distribution ). This bell-curve starts ( in the extreme tail ) close to ZERO and goes up to the individual with the highest and most extreme value. Your statement would only make sense if I had said that the sample space of the two groups would be totally disjoint. This is not so. It will never be so. That is not the point. There is some horses that are smaller than some really big dogs. That does NOT mean that the horse IS a dog or vice versa.

    -realnameMalin: “One individuals(sic) lack of impulse control is not scientific proof to be generalized to an entire group”. Of course not. There is a logical error to go from the special case to the general case, you can often, though, go from the general case to the special: All birds that are black can fly does NOT mean that all birds that can fly are black. But if all birds are indeed black it would mean that even the black ones can fly.

    Which is the case here. I do not base my thoughts on a single example. I do, however base my thoughts on a scary overrepresentation of the group in question (generality) of almost all types of crimes that are violence related. I am discussing this from the point of reality. I would like to be wrong. Everything would be so much easier then, for us to build a nice society.

    And realnameMalin. You are happy for my quest for knowledge. But you still can’t produce the surveys asked for. Even though your opinion is sooo obvious that I have to be TOTALLY retarded not to understand.

  • VOR,

    Yes, in the writing and coverage of this story at Streetsblog there was a clear villain and a clear victim. We’re an advocacy blog that focuses on the pedestrian, bicycle and transit issues of the day. A man driving an SUV that beats and runs over a man in a crosswalk is a major story with a clear good guy and bad guy.

    To address some of your particular complaints with my writing/coverage.

    Information from Osnes’ autopsy wasn’t available to the public until well after I wrote the articles you reference. By the time I got that information, the verdict was already in. By that time the story was no longer Osnes, but the 2nd Degree Murder verdict. Also the reason that I didn’t go into Jassy being found “not guilty” of lesser charges.

    They typo is inexcusable. The part about revving the engine is from the Anaheim police officer’s statement on the crash, that there was a pause while he jumped on the vehicle with his badge out. I guess I could have read that Jassy was composing himself, turning his car back on or other things. That, I apologize for and will correct in a moment.

    As for the picture, in a previous story I searched for pictures of Jassy and ended up using one from an industry website story that turned out not to be Jassy and I got crucified in the comments section. This time I used the one that came up the most times on the first two pages of an image search of his name to be certain I didn’t make the same mistake.

    Now a last note to VoR and other friends of Jassy’s that read this far down the comments section.

    It’s horrible what happens to the friends and families of someone who either through a momentary (but major) lapse in judgment or through some sort of hidden personality defect. In addition to the mental gymnastics you personally are going through, you’re probably also trying to figure out, as a friend, what you might have done at some point to change what happened. Let me say that while you might feel like you want to protect your friend, he made a big big big mistake, and now someone is dead because of it. It’s not your fault he did this, no matter how close you are to him.

    While there’s a lot of people that don’t understand how you can stand by someone like Jassy, I just feel bad for you. Even if you have a small part in this story; it’s still a horror story and traumatic for all involved.

    I hope somehow you can find some peace from this incident, as I said, I’m sure it’s been traumatic for you and I hope that my somewhat irreverent writing has in no way made it moreso.

  • Dan

    Vor, Very well written…

    David Jassy is a good man. he will be out soon. and to the people who live in a black and white world, i feel sorry for you. it’s an American phenomena. burst your bubble, travel more, live outside U.S for a while and your cloggy views will change. your whole judicial system is retarded,and more then half of your population is retarded too, so i don’t blame you. It’s your media that has manipulated you for such a long time. book a ticket today, open your minds.

    Bon voyage,take care

  • la rider


    At first I thought you were crazy. But, you know what, it’s always nice to hear the others’ point of view. Cheers.

    You’re right, I am a cold person. I do not condone murder, especially from people that I am personally aquainted with. I would be saddened from the fact that I chose to consider such a psychopath a friend. But that’s just me. I prefer to think that the people I consider ‘good people’ as really ‘good people’ and not someone who kicks somebodys head in and then proceed to run them over with a 2 ton truck?

  • la rider


    “Do you realize that all David did after he left the scene that night was go home to the apartment he was renting here in L.A. and go to sleep? He parked his vehicle where he always parked it. He made no attempt to clean the vehicle. He made no attempt to flee the country.”

    Psychopath, perhaps? He acted as though nothing happened, went about his normal routine and sounds like he got a good nights rest. He punched Osnes in the face, kicked him in the head, somehow ran him over and did not know and then went home as though nothing happened.

    Something doesn’t sound right to me. I feel every pothole when I am driving, how is it that he had no idea that he ran this man over? Maybe he thought he hit the curb? Not buying it.

  • Realname Malin

    @you know whom.

    Well that was an attack worthy of the name. And yes. Admittedly the things you write are so absurd – yet still many more would claim it – enraging me. And not in the way you try to make it seem – for the inner traits guiding my actions. I do believe people’s actions to be a little bit more evolved than that. Or were you just programmed in your genes to be racist?

    As of course I agree with my own opinion and am certain. As would anyone. You with yours. And here’s the difference between my certainty and your claimed uncertainty (although there’s no proof of that doubt anywhere in your text). I am basing my opinion on VALUES and so are you, although unwilling to state ut. You claim are basing your argumentation on what you call “facts” rather – outproduced claims – with the rhetoric of attacking the ones not agreeing. If you recall my response was to your claims – and none of us here has yet seem THAT “evidence”…

    “In sweden we don’t really have powerty like you do in the US. We have a well developed social security system. Not many needs to starve or live on the streets. And still we have the same problems.” ????

    Do I not live in Sweden, how come I haven’t noticed this?

    What you state as “facts” in your non-proof is “evidence” of how genes prove to affect us in life. What do you make of the million and millions of darker skinned human beings who are not criminals? Are they taking into account?

    Science is a belief. As everything else. Whatever words you use to mask it through. Although still waiting for the results you claim exist. Has anyone, and I mean ANYONE really seen it?

  • Illuminati

    Dan and VOR…

    Couldn´t agree more with you.
    Americans no nothing else than what they get fed by the controlled media, which rarely reports of anything foreign. We shouldn´t be mad at the Americans. After all they are only lowlife offsprings from our genetically weak European ancestors who were not able to make it here in Europe. I mean…European America doesn´t even have a real history, the only history that was, the Indians, they killed, destroyed and raped….land of the free…yeah right! Hahahaha


    And that is exactly the reason mister Eurotrash rapper is now locked up.


    Are you typing about the same Americans that came over to wimpy Europe and kicked the German’s asses so you people could keep all your history intact?

  • norton

    Best of wishes for your future DP Jassy. I`m wishing for a big boyfriend for you in the Fed Pen. Celebrity worship = all holes filled. I wish for a boyfriend for you – much bigger than the smaller glasses wearing seniors you prefer to attack. People love to abuse cowards in jail- especially diddlers & those that attack the weak and elderly – seen it – call it the real judgement .I can tell how scared you are – it will only get worse. Hard road ahead. Best wishes.

  • Ana

    Dear readers of this blog. I keep wondering how this is possible. I knew David Jassy and it is unbelievable that he has done this. The only logical explanation I can find for this to happen is that he DID get scared and that he DID drive off in panic.
    I can’t imagine he would ever run someone over. I condemn that behavior. I can’t understand it nor can I put it together with his personality.
    It’s a terrible, terrible thing what has happened.
    What terrible set of circumstances did make a young, prospective good person become responsible for someone’s death?
    I am so sorry about the man who who lost his life and all his friends. I am also sorry for my friend. In my heart I believe he never meant to have things happen this way.
    I just can’t believe it. It is awful. I pray for you David.

  • Vee

    Allvarligt… Kände David för längesen, innan hans första hits. Och jag kan aldrig tro att han gjort detta som han nu blir dömd för. David – what doesn´t kill u, makes you only stronger.

    Jag håller på dig…


  • jack

    David – have fun jacking off for the next 15 years!

  • Watcher

    David Jassy is guilty of a terrible act, but has never expressed any genuine remorse for causing the death of an innocent man.

    He has yet to acknowledge that what happened was a result of his inability to manage his anger and make reasonable, rational choices in the heat of the moment.

    I hope he’ll use his time for introspection and find a way to share the pain of his personal experience with others. Maybe he can prevent this from happening again – maybe even prevent it many times over.

    The past can’t be undone, but there are lives to be saved in the future.

  • Solna

    Vi som kände eller vet vem han är är mycket förvånade och många av oss tror inte att han gjorde detta för att döda någon.-
    Om han nu gjort detta med avsikt så är det bara att beklaga. Men 15 år till livstid är ju fan helt sjukt. Klart han ska få sona sitt straff om så är fallet….men man kanske inte behöver överdriva straffet.

    Vi försvarar honom för vi vet att han aldrig skulle göra en fluga för när. Ni som kritiserar har all rätt att göra så gällande detta fall. Men angrip för faan inte honom för ni känner honom inte som vi gör

  • Solna

    For us who knows him are very chocked about what happend, and niethe of us believes that he would do such a thing in cold blood.
    If he did it deliberately he most definetly make amends for what he´s done, no doubt about that. But i don´t think that the US law has to exaggerate the sentence.
    ´We how does defend him knows that things like this is something he would normally never do, but we where´nt there som nobody really now….right?

    For the people who do not know him, please criticize him as much you like but don´t attac him personally because you don´t know him as we do……criticize him for this particular case….

  • Mark

    The truth is, nobody wants to know somebody who gets upset because some old man hits his rental car. I would have just looked over at my super model girlfriend and said life is good and waited for the street to clear.

    Instead your friend gets out of the car and beats the man into the ground , gets back into the car and runs him over, despite the fact people are all around him telling him to relax.

    Do you think if it was a couple gang bangers crossing the street, your friend would have jumped out and started a fight??? I don’t think so. He deliberately got out of his car and killed a clearly weaker man.

    If you don’t see that, there is something seriously wrong with you. 15 years to life is nothing, he might actually get out in 10 years. He could have received just plain life.

    The funny thing is, if he actually attacked a fly, he would still be running around with his super model girlfriend.

  • Marcotico

    I sympathize with the friends and family of David Jassy. However, what made him act this way in a foreign country? Would you feel the same way if this crime happened in Stockholm. Would you still be trying to imagine what it was that could have made him act this way?


Wannabe Rapper Beats, Runs Over, Kills Pedestrian Advocate

Pianist and car-free advocate John Osnes left his favorite bar in Hollywood one night in mid-November.  He waived to the bartender and promised he would be back the next day.  However, instead he was savagely beaten and quite probably intentionally run over by a wanna-be Swedish rapper named David Moses Jassy, who is probably still […]