Marine master sergeant claims self-defense in prostitute’s death

A Marine master sergeant charged with murder says he acted in self-defense after a prostitute he was with pulled out a knife that was hidden in her lipstick tube.

The court martial of MSgt. Nathaniel Cosby, 39, began Monday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe.

The prosecution claims Cosby killed Ivanice “Ivy” Harris, 29, last May, then dumped her body at Yokohama Bay. Prosecutors presented surveillance video and cell phone records to back up their case.

Meanwhile, the defense says Harris was killed during a struggle. Cosby’s attorney said Cosby got rid of her body to avoid embarrassment to his family and to the Marine Corps.

A hearing last September revealed key details of the investigation, including surveillance video that showed Cosby meeting Harris outside Kelley O’Neil’s pub in Waikiki. Hotel surveillance video also showed Harris getting into an elevator, and Cosby rolling a large duffle bag out and putting it into an SUV. Investigators later found forensic evidence inside the bag.

Cosby faces several charges, including unpremedidated murder, obstructing justice and attempting to patronize a prostitute. He continues to be held at the Joint Brig Miramar – Detachment Pearl Harbor Brig on Ford Island.

The court martial resumes Tuesday when detectives investigating the case are expected to testify.

Related stories:

Ivanice “Ivy” Harris

Legal Services Center, Marine Corps Base Hawaii

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