March 29, 1997 in Nation/World

Man Denies Guilt In Cosby Murder

Compiled From Wire Services

An 18-year-old North Hollywood man pleaded not guilty Friday to murdering Ennis Cosby during an attempted robbery two months ago.

Mikail “Michael” Markhasev, wearing a blue jailhouse jumpsuit, showed little emotion as his attorneys entered pleas on charges that potentially could send him to death row if convicted.

With his hands and feet shackled, the tall, slender teenager spoke only briefly during the arraignment, saying “yes, sir” when the judge asked if he agreed to waive his legal rights to an immediate trial.

Markhasev, a Ukrainian immigrant who came to the United States eight years ago, faces charges of murder and attempted robbery. Prosecutors also filed a special allegation that the slaying was committed during a robbery attempt, an accusation that could bring the death penalty.

Prosecutors, who declined to comment Friday, have not decided yet whether they will seek the death penalty.

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