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Murder suspect heads to court-martial

A master sergeant in the Marines has been charged with killing a prostitute

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:05 a.m. HST, Oct 26, 2013

A Marine accused of killing a prostitute visiting Hawaii will be court-martialed, the Marine Corps announced Friday.

Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby is charged with murder in the death of Ivanice "Ivy" Harris, who was visiting Hawaii from Las Vegas.

An Article 32 hearing, the military's equivalent of a preliminary hearing in civilian court, was held last month to determine whether he should be court-martialed. During that hearing, a Hono­lulu police detective testified that surveillance footage showed Cosby and Harris meeting outside a Waikiki bar and that they were later seen kissing in the elevator of the hotel where he was staying. Several hours later, the footage showed, Cosby was alone in the elevator and pulling a large duffel bag, which he loaded into the back of a sport utility vehicle.

Originally from Oregon, Harris was visiting Hawaii to celebrate her 29th birthday with her boyfriend, who was also her pimp, and two other women, Detective Dru Akagi said.

Her body was found May 20 in a remote area about 40 miles west of Waikiki.

The prosecution's theory is that Cosby drove almost to the westernmost point of the island to scout a location to dump the body, returned to Pearl Harbor for work and then later dumped the body at about midnight, then returned to the hotel.

Cosby is an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Marine Wing Support Squadron-171 in the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing based in Iwa­kuni, Japan. He was on temporary-duty assignment in Hawaii in May.

The 39-year-old is being held at a military detention facility in Pearl Harbor.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

"Unlike the civilian justice system, the military justice system is a portable system with worldwide application," Marine Corps Forces Pacific spokes­man Brade Bartelt said. "As our history demonstrates, military members can be tried for offenses any time, anywhere. Nevertheless, Marines accused of crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, we are committed to ensuring that the rights of any Marine accused of a crime are preserved."

Honolulu police began the investigation into Harris' disappearance and death, but the Naval Criminal Investigative Service took over the case.

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