A military jury issued a recommendation for sentencing for a U.S. Marine convicted of murder Thursday in the death of a prostitute.
The jury recommended life in confinement and a dishonorable discharge in the court-martial of Master Sgt. Nathaniel L. Cosby.
Cosby killed 29-year-old Ivanice “Ivy” Harris and dumped her body near Yokohama bay last May. Cosby says he acted in self-defense after Harris pulled out a knife that was hidden in her lipstick tube, and got rid of her body to avoid embarrassment to his family and to the Marine Corps.
The 8-member panel found Cosby guilty on the following violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice: Article 118, Murder while Engaging in an Inherently Dangerous Act and Article 134, Obstructing Justice.
The recommendation now goes before Lieutenant General Terry G. Robling and the court-martial’s convening authority to determine sentencing.
Cosby remains in confinement on Ford Island.
MILITARY JURY RECOMMENDS LIFE IN CONFINEMENT AND A DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE SENTENCE IN U.S. V MSGT COSBY GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL
The following is a coordinated release prepared by U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and the City and County of Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:
CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – A military jury recommended Life in Confinement and a Dishonorable Discharge during the sentencing phase in the general court-martial of Master Sgt. Nathaniel L. Cosby, which concluded today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. This conviction automatically carries a reduction to E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Cosby was convicted in the May 16, 2013 murder of Ms. Ivanice “Ivy” Harris. The Honolulu Police Department opened the investigation into Harris’ disappearance, which was later turned over to Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
The U.S. Marine Corps requested primary investigatory and prosecutorial jurisdiction in this case and after consultation, the City and County of Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s office and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific agreed that it would be more advantageous to prosecute the case under the auspices of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
“Justice was achieved because of the continued cooperation of investigative and prosecutorial agencies of government and we were proud to be part of this effort,” said Keith Kaneshiro, the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu. “We applaud the work of NCIS and Marine Corps prosecutors and congratulate them on the outcome.”
The 8-member panel, which consisted of four enlisted service members and four commissioned officers, found Cosby guilty on the following violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice: Article 118, Murder while Engaging in an Inherently Dangerous Act and Article 134, Obstructing Justice.
The members’ recommendation will be reviewed by Lieutenant General Terry G. Robling, the Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and the court-martial’s convening authority. Robling will either concur with the sentence or reduce the penalty. Cosby remains in confinement at the Joint Brig Miramar – Detachment Pearl Harbor Brig on Ford Island.
“I am pleased that the court-martial process worked and reached a just verdict,” said Robling. “At the same time, we should not forget the young lady who was the victim in this case and take this opportunity to extend our deepest sympathy to Ms. Ivy Harris’ family and friends. This is obviously an unfortunate and very sad occasion for all concerned – the loss of a young life and the career of a U.S. Marine.”
According to a written statement from the Harris family. “We are the voices for the voiceless and are eternally grateful to the Marines, NCIS and Hawaii law enforcement for bringing Ivanice’s murderer to justice. We’ve had peace throughout this process knowing that somebody had our baby’s back. Ivanice was a gift to the world and is survived by a very close-knit, loving family who will continue to live on because that is what she would have wanted.”