POSTED: 11:16 a.m. HST, Sep 25, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 05:14 p.m. HST, Sep 25, 2013
A Marine charged with murdering a prostitute is seen in surveillance video meeting the woman in Waikiki, holding hands with her and kissing her in a hotel elevator the last day she was seen alive, officials said.
Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby, 39, later showed up for work at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command with a fresh cut over his eye that he said was the result of a slip in his hotel room in which he hit his head, witnesses said.
The body of 29-year-old Ivanice "Ivy" Harris was found four days later in kiawe brush near Yokohama Bay on the Waianae Coast.
The morning that Harris is believed to have been killed, a cell phone tower picked up a signal from Cosby's recently-purchased pay-as-you go phone sometime after 6 a.m. at a tower located at the farthest residential location on the Waianae Coast, Honolulu police detective Dru Akagi said.
The testimony came during an Article 32 hearing today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe to determine if Cosby should be court-martialed.
According to Akagi, Cosby could not recall what happened in the two hours he and Harris were together in his Aston Waikiki hotel room.
Initially, he said he woke up, she was not there, he showered and went to work, Akagi said.
Cosby also said he woke up, thought he was late for work, Harris was not there, he struck his head on an entertainment center, and he went back to sleep, the detective said.
Investigating officer Col. Doug Gardner, a Marine reserve officer and "judge" in the case out of Texas who is a federal prosecutor in drug cartel cases, will make a recommendation to Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific.
Three days were reserved for the civilian equivalent to a probable-cause hearing, but the testimony is expected to wrap up Thursday.
Prosecutor Maj. Doug Hatch said his "theory" in the case is that Cosby "scouted" a "dump location" for Harris' body the morning of May 16, went to work at JPAC, where he was planning for a mission to China, and then he dumped the body after he was released from work that day.
The Alabama man was seen toting a multi-colored Dakine roller suitcase to his rented white Chevy sport utility vehicle in the morning, and then checked out on May 17 with that bag and a smaller roller bag, witnesses said.
His explanation for the bigger bag was that he needed it for gear, and that he had loaded it up with about 70 pounds of clothing, Akagi said.
"It didn't make sense," Akagi said.
Defense attorney Lt. Col. Clay Plummer, who was tasked to represent Cosby by the chief defense counsel of the Marine Corps, asked Akagi if he was aware of any allegations that Harris had stolen a lot of money a day or two before her disappearance.
Akagi said he was not aware of any such allegation.
Plummer also asked about checks for evidence in Cosby's hotel room.
"Nothing was found," Akagi said.
Cosby, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist, had arrived in Hawaii from his duty station in Iwakuni, Japan, on May 15 for a JPAC mission to China. He was questioned when he returned to Hawaii. The case was subsequently turned over to military prosecutors.
Cosby is charged with unpremeditated murder, obstructing justice and patronizing a prostitute.
Harris, who grew up in Portland but was living in Las Vegas, was in Hawaii with Jillian Gibides and Mark Miles, who was described as their boyfriend and a pimp for both of the "working girls."