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Killer of Bill Cosby's Son Confesses

Conviction appeal by former O.C. high school student Mikail Markhasev is dropped at his request.

February 10, 2001|TWILA DECKER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Saying he wanted to do the right thing, the man convicted of killing Bill Cosby's only son, Ennis, has written a letter to the California attorney general's office confessing to the crime and asking that his 1998 appeal be dropped.

"It is based on falsehood and deceit. I am guilty and I want to do the right thing," Mikail Markhasev, 22, wrote in the letter.

"More than anything, I want to apologize to the victim's family. It is my duty as a Christian and it's the least I can do after the great wickedness for which I'm responsible. This is way overdue, and although my apology is too late, it's still the right thing to do."

The letter was addressed to California Deputy Atty. Gen. Kyle Brodie, who was handling an appeal Markhasev's lawyer filed Aug. 11, 1998. Brodie said he received the one-page letter late Wednesday.

The deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case, Anne Ingalls, and Markhasev's appellate attorney, Michael L. Becker, confirmed that the letter was written by Markhasev.

"Mr. Markhasev is a thoughtful and introspective young man with a strong value system that was regrettably compromised through his involvement in the death of Ennis Cosby," Becker said. "It is Mr. Markhasev's value system and a duty he feels he owes the Cosby family, himself, his God and his community that have led to his decision."

On Friday, a California appeals court judge granted Markhasev's wishes and dismissed his appeal.

Brodie said the Cosby family was notified of the letter. Spokesman Joel Brokaw said the family declined to comment.

Brodie said he has never heard of a defendant confessing to prosecutors this late in the process. "This is extremely rare," Brodie said.

Markhasev, a former Los Alamitos High School student, is serving life in prison without parole for the Jan. 16, 1997, killing of Cosby, 27, who had stopped to fix a flat tire near a freeway offramp. Markhasev shot Cosby while trying to rob him.

This is not the first time confession letters have surfaced in the case. During the trial, prosecutors introduced letters Markhasev allegedly wrote to a fellow jail inmate confessing to the crime. However, Markhasev insisted that those letters were forged.

Times staff writer Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson contributed to this story.

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