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Life Sentence Given in Cosby Case

August 11, 1998

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ Mikail Markhasev, the 19-year-old convicted of killing Bill Cosby’s son, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday after the judge rejected claims of misconduct by prosecutors and the jury.

Cosby wasn’t present, but his three daughters and other relatives attended the sentencing.

Markhasev was convicted July 7 of murdering 27-year-old Ennis Cosby during a holdup along a dark highway as Cosby changed a flat tire last year. The verdict carried an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole.

Ennis Cosby’s uncle, Eric Hanks, gave a slide presentation that showed the victim as a child, high school student and graduating college student. Hanks also displayed photographs of Markhasev grinning during the trial and another of him in his jail cell.

``He’s been smiling throughout the trial,″ Hanks said. ``When he’s not smiling he’s wearing a proud and defiant smirk on his face. All of this shows he’s boasting of what he’s done.″

Markhasev sat expressionless during the sentencing and declined the judge’s offer to make a statement. His mother and grandmother left without comment.

In court papers, the defense claimed prosecutors repeatedly referred to Markhasev’s alleged gang connections despite a court order against it. The defense also argued that 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,″ defense attorney Henry Hall wrote.

The judge rejected the claims.

The judge added 10 consecutive years to the sentence for use of a firearm plus three years to run concurrently for robbery.

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