Markhasev Convicted in Cosby Killing

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SANTA MONICA, California: Was it a jury that convicted Mikail Markhasev late Tuesday of the murder of Ennis Cosby, guaranteeing him life in prison with no possibility of parole -– or was it the name Bill Cosby? Defense lawyers say they aren’t so sure. "I think it's very clear from the tenor of the coverage of the case that there was an expectation that Mr. Markhasev would be convicted," defense attorney Henry Hall said after the verdict, adding that the judge disallowed evidence that could have saved his client. "About 70 percent of this evidence in this case went by the boards."

The evidence that did convict Markhasev wasn’t all that solid either. Although the prosecution called the murder a botched robbery, Cosby’s car was not tampered with, nor was his wallet taken. The only eyewitness to the scene could not identify Markhasev. The main physical evidence that linked the defendant to the crime was a single hair on -– stop me if this sounds familiar -– a knit cap. During the trial, defense attorneys alleged that police arrested the wrong man, and pointed the finger at Eli Zakaria, one of two other people with Markhasev on the night of the killing. Zakaria pleaded the Fifth and refused to take the stand. After the verdict, in a statement released through his spokesman, Bill Cosby said that "the Cosby family is satisfied with the judicial process that has led to this conviction." But others wonder whether a villain wasn’t served up a little too quickly in this celebrity trial, just to ensure an ending the audience could be happy with.