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Defense says slain prostitute had attacked marine with knife

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 04:20 p.m. HST, Apr 21, 2014

A struggle between a marine and prostitute armed with a knife in a Waikiki hotel room ended with the prostitute dead on the floor, said a defense attorney for Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby during opening arguments in Cosby's court martial at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.

Cosby, 39, is charged with unpremeditated murder, murder while engaging in an inherently dangerous act, obstructing justice, and attempting the patronize a prostitute. If convicted of the most serious charges, the marine faces a sentence of life without parole. The charges are in connection with the death of 29-year-old Ivanice "Ivy" Harris, whose body was found on May 20, 2013, in kiawe brush near Yokohama Bay on the Waianae Coast.

In Monday's opening arguments, defense attorney Lt. Col. Clay A. Plummer said, "It's "not going to be about who, it's going to be about why." He added, "What it's going to come down to is self-defense."

Plummer said that during the early hours on May 16, 2013, Cosby, who had been drinking for 10 hours, was in his hotel room with Harris. At some point, when Cosby was asleep on a bed, the defense counsel said, "She woke him up saying, 'You need to pay me.'"

Cosby then told her to get out of the room, Plummer said, adding that an argument ensued during which Harris produced a lipstick-like knife with a razor-type blade on it.

"She cuts him right here, slashes across his arm," Plummer said, as Cosby was ushering her to the door. "When that knife slid across his arm, he reacted," Plummer said. Harris then stabbed Cosby in the temple with the knife, the defense counsel said.

"This was a struggle from moment one," Plummer said. While Cosby was going after knife, trying to restrain Harris, they ended up on floor and at some point, when she was no longer moving, the marine knew she was dead, Plummer said. Cosby then made a decision that he needed to get her out of the room, Plummer said.

At sometime after 6 a.m. May 16, the morning that Harris is believed to have been killed, a cellphone tower picked up a signal from Cosby's recently purchased pay-as-you go phone on the Waianae Coast.

Harris was originally from Oregon. She was visiting Hawaii to celebrate her 29th birthday with her boyfriend, who was also her pimp, and two other women.

Harris' disappearance started out as a missing person case, after one of the women who traveled to Hawaii with her reported her missing.

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 last May.

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GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 21,2014 | 02:11PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Your comment, along with many others below, are especially disgusting, just one day after Easter. Prostitute or not, she did not deserve to be murdered.
on April 21,2014 | 09:20PM
HanabataDays wrote:
Lends a kind of perverse irony to his handle, doesn't it.
on April 22,2014 | 01:20AM
ponowai wrote:
If it was self defense, why did he dump her body in the bushes by Yokohama bay?
on April 21,2014 | 02:30PM
Grimbold wrote:
Ye, he panicked and dumped her out of fear nobody would believe him. At the most it should be involuntary manslaughter. Aggressive prostitute defense makes sense.
on April 21,2014 | 04:05PM
HD36 wrote:
I hope Obama doesn't hear about this.
on April 21,2014 | 04:50PM
HanabataDays wrote:
I just e-mailed him the link to this article.
on April 22,2014 | 01:21AM
loquaciousone wrote:
And Dr. Zeus said the cat in the had was having bowel movements so he had to produce a knife to cut the cat.
on April 21,2014 | 02:44PM
alba66 wrote:
Does he have knife lacerations from her savage attack with a "lipstick knife"? She was obviously a greedy whore having the temerity to try to shiv him for not paying for his sexual bout with her. She should have shrugged her shoulders, realizing he was a non-paying john. Her getting strangled was her own fault. His lawyer is arguing that his client is the victim in this sordid transaction. His needs were ignored--coitus interruptus after he had pleasured her, she should have been okay with that and not insisted on being paid.
on April 21,2014 | 03:10PM
Hodad wrote:
You are one sick individual.
on April 21,2014 | 05:22PM
sparkyzane wrote:
on April 21,2014 | 03:14PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Oh yes, this seems plausible. Self defense, sure, OK. She pulls a lipstick knife on a marine and tries to slash him. OK sure......
on April 21,2014 | 03:11PM
NotNasti wrote:
That's about as believable as her friends saying she was in Hawaii to celebrate her birthday. Working vacation?
on April 21,2014 | 03:47PM
GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on April 21,2014 | 04:57PM
HanabataDays wrote:
That can't be, because you're still posting and this isn't a Ouija board.
on April 22,2014 | 01:23AM
HD36 wrote:
Possibly, he didn't know she was a hoe. When she said you need to pay me, he said , what? you got some too.
on April 21,2014 | 04:48PM
Hodad wrote:
And I have a bridge to Maui to sell you.
on April 21,2014 | 05:21PM
Iuki wrote:
Oh, brother! Did the police find blood in their hotel room? Did he have cuts on him when arrested? What an excuse! The big, burly Marine had to strangle the much smaller woman because she had a knife? Not I've heard it all.
on April 21,2014 | 06:30PM
st1d wrote:
"the defense counsel said, "She woke him up saying, 'You need to pay me.'"

why would she wake him up when she could clean out his wallet and take his jewelry (wedding ring) as he slept? unlikely defense.

on April 21,2014 | 11:57PM
HanabataDays wrote:
Drank all night. Was gonna cheat her of her pay. Killed her and threw her body in the bushes. There's his three strikes, right there. Yer out, buddy.
on April 22,2014 | 01:19AM
alba66 wrote:
Hodad, You don't understand "irony" or even sarcasm which my comment was loaded with. Of course, sarcasm is the lowest form of humor but using it does not make one "one sick guy..."
on April 24,2014 | 08:56PM
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