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Life, no parole, for Ennis Cosby's killer

Markhasev, right, at sentencing  

Life without parole mandated; Markhasev seeks new trial

August 11, 1998
Web posted at: 1:07 p.m. EDT (1707 GMT)

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- Michael Markhasev, the 19-year-old convicted last month of killing Bill Cosby's son, Ennis, was sentenced on Tuesday to a mandatory life prison term without the possibility of parole.

Meantime, Markhasev is seeking a new trial, claiming there was jury and prosecutor misconduct during his Santa Monica trial.

A 23-page brief, filed Friday by Deputy Alternate Public Defender Henry Hall, claims prosecutors repeatedly referred to Markhasev's alleged gang affiliations despite a court order against it.

The brief was disclosed Monday.

Ennis Cosby
Ennis Cosby  

Hall's brief also said a juror indicated she had reached her decision before final arguments ended.

"Another expressed the opinion that they should 'hang' Mr. Markhasev before the exhibits were even submitted to the jury. Juror misconduct creates a presumption of prejudice," Hall wrote.

District attorney office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons called the last-minute motion a "routine" procedure. She said the D.A.'s office is "confident" the verdicts will stand.

After hearing more than two weeks of testimony and deliberating fewer than six hours, a jury of six men and six women convicted Markhasev of murdering Ennis Cosby, 27, during a robbery attempt as he changed a flat tire on a dark road last year.

Markhasev also was found guilty of two special circumstances involving murder during an attempted robbery and use of a firearm. The verdict automatically mandates a life prison term with no possibility of parole.

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