Swedish Rapper, Record Producer Testifies In Road-Rage Trial

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A Swedish rap artist and record producer recently took the stand in his murder trial, testifying that he feared for his life during a 2008 confrontation with a jazz musician.

David Jassy, 35, was driving a rented SUV in Hollywood after visiting a Sunset Strip nightclub with his girlfriend, Therese Fischer, when a man banged on the hood of his vehicle. Jassy got out of the SUV to assess the damage and talk to the man, a 55-year-old jazz pianist named John Osnes. Jassy’s account of what happened next is quite different from the testimony given by a half dozen eyewitnesses for the prosecution.

“I was in fear for my life,” said Jassy. “I didn’t know if he had a gun, a knife. I know L.A. is way more dangerous than Sweden is.” He also testified that Osnes escalated the incident by grinning “devilishly” and throwing a punch. Osnes had been walking home from a neighborhood piano bar.

The witnesses, however, painted Jassy as the aggressor, saying that he nearly hit Osnes with the SUV, and that Osnes, although he was yelling and slapping at the vehicle, backed off when Jassy got out. Witnesses also claim that Jassy punched Osnes in the face, and then kicking him when he stooped to retrieve his fallen eyeglasses. That kick rendered him unconscious. Then, said witnesses, Jassy returned to the driver’s seat of his vehicle and drove over the man’s body.

Jassy contended that all of this contact was accidental—the kick occurred as he was trying to evade the older man, and running over him was simply the unfortunate consequence that occurred when was trying to avoid hitting a bystander.

Fischer, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the rented car, said that she was too drunk to remember anything except her own feelings of fear as the encounter played out.

Jassy has a successful career as a record producer, songwriter and rapper back home in Stockholm, and he and Fischer have a child together. He came to the United States a little over a year ago in order to try to make a name for himself in the American music industry. Calling himself “DJ Monopoly,” Jassy worked hard to create a tough-guy persona for himself.

During a pretrial hearing, Jassy attempted to have the murder charge reduced to one of manslaughter, but was unsuccessful. If he is convicted, he could receive a life sentence.

 

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