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Arraignment delayed for Cosby slaying suspect

markhasev March 14, 1997
Web posted at: 7:49 p.m. EST (0049 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The Los Angeles district attorney Friday formally charged Mikail Markhasev with murder in the shooting of Ennis Cosby, and a judge postponed the suspect's scheduled arraignment until March 28.

Wearing a white T-shirt, Markhasev appeared calm at a hearing Friday to determine whether cameras would be allowed in the courtroom. He answered "yes," when Municipal Court Judge Michael K. Kellogg asked him if he agreed to the delay, which the judge did not explain.

The suspect's defense attorney was believed to have asked for the postponement, which was announced after Kellogg conferred with both sides in chambers.

Kellogg ruled that cameras may be present in court, but he said the media could not photograph the defendant's face. The judge also denied bail for 18-year-old Markhasev, citing "special circumstances."

The allegation that Cosby, a 27-year-old doctoral candidate, was killed during an attempted robbery is a so-called "special circumstance" that, if upheld at trial, could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty if there is a guilty verdict. Markhasev also was charged with use of a firearm.

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Ennis Cosby, the only son of entertainer Bill Cosby, was found dead January 16 with a bullet wound in his head. He had been repairing a flat tire on his Mercedes sports car near a freeway off-ramp.

Markhasev, who came to the United States eight years ago from the former Soviet Union, was arrested Wednesday at his apartment in North Hollywood. Police said they have recovered the gun used to shoot Ennis Cosby and a knit cap reportedly worn by the gunman.

Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams said Thursday the crime was a random killing that began as a robbery.

Reuters contributed to this report.

 
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