Lawyer: Witness is real killer of Cosby's son

Published June 19, 1998|Updated Sept. 13, 2005

A defense attorney said Thursday that he will tell jurors that the real killer of Ennis Cosby is likely a man who has turned state's evidence against the defendant, Mikail Markhasev.

Henry Hall said when he gives his opening statement Monday, he will name Eli Zakaria, 24, as the likely killer.

Zakaria, a convicted robber, was with Markhasev when Cosby, the son of entertainer Bill Cosby, was shot Jan. 16, 1997, as he stopped to fix a flat tire beside a Los Angeles freeway. Zakaria was arrested and charged along with Markhasev, 19.

Zakaria and Sara Ann Peters, 22, who was also along that night, are key witnesses for the prosecution. Both are in jail awaiting trial in another case.

Superior Court Judge David Perez said he would rule on the relevance of evidence against Zakaria when he takes the stand.

Hall suggested Zakaria was the one with a motive to kill Cosby, 27.

Court papers indicated Zakaria and Peters were using a roadside telephone to conduct a drug deal when Cosby's car blew a tire and he pulled over nearby. Markhasev allegedly left his companions, saying he was going to rob the motorist.