Russian teen is Cosby suspect Will be charged today; 'robbery was motive'

  Jonathan T. Lovitt ; Gale Holland


  USA Today


  Page 01A

  (Copyright 1997)


  LOS ANGELES -- An 18-year-old Russian-born man will be charged today in

  the killing of Ennis Cosby, police Chief Willie Williams said Thursday.


  Williams said the Jan. 16 roadside shooting death of entertainer Bill Cosby's only

  son came during a random, solitary act by Mikail Markhasev.


  ``It appears that robbery was the motive. It was happenstance,'' Williams said.

  ``This was a random stop as far as we know now.''


  The National Enquirer gave police information that broke the case, officials said.

  A tipster, attempting to collect on the tabloid's $100,000 reward, called the paper

  shortly after the killing. The Enquirer relayed information to detectives, editor

  Steve Coz said.


  Whether the tipster collects the reward depends on whether the suspect is



  The Lantana, Fla.-based newspaper said, ``$100,000 is a small price to pay to see

  that the murderer of Ennis Cosby is brought to justice.''


  Acting on the tipster's information, investigators found a gun and a woolen knit

  watch cap described by a witness to the killing, police say.


  Ballistics tests confirm the gun was used in the killing.


  The family of Bill Cosby expressed relief at the arrest of Markhasev, who

  reportedly came to the USA legally in 1989 but is not a U.S. citizen.


  ``We want to thank the LAPD,'' Cosby said. ``We realize how tough it must have

  been on them every day.''


  Ennis Cosby, 27, a graduate student at Columbia University in New York, was

  killed while on a two-week break in California. He was shot once in the head as

  he changed a tire on his Mercedes-Benz convertible.


  ``There is no indication that there is any Russian gang or Russian mob ties at

  all,'' Williams said, contradicting earlier reports. Cosby's tires were not tampered

  with, he said.


  Police will not say what was taken during the robbery.


  Markhasev, who was arrested at his home in the San Fernando Valley, was

  expected to be charged with one count of murder.