Videos link prostitute to Marine on day she was killed in Hawaii
By WILLIAM COLE | The Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Published: September 26, 2013
HONOLULU — 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, witnesses said.
The body of 29-year-old Ivanice "Ivy" Harris was found four days later, on May 20, in kiawe brush near Yokohama Bay on the Waianae Coast.
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, Honolulu police Detective Dru Akagi said Wednesday.
Prosecutor Maj. Doug Hatch said his "theory" in the case is that Cosby "scouted" a "dump location" for Harris' body that morning, went to work at JPAC, and then dumped the body after work that day.
The testimony came during an Article 32 hearing Wednesday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay to determine whether Cosby should be court-martialed.
Investigating officer Col. Doug Gardner, a Marine reservist and "judge" in the case, will make a recommendation to Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Gardner, based in Texas, is a federal prosecutor in drug cartel cases.
Three days were reserved for the civilian equivalent of a probable-cause hearing, but the testimony is expected to wrap up today.
A calm-looking and graying Cosby, wearing a desert camouflage uniform, answered "Yes, sir" to the few questions the judge had for him.
According to Akagi, Cosby when interviewed, could not recall what happened during the two hours he and Harris were together in his Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel room.
Initially he said that when he woke up she was not there, and he showered and went to work, Akagi said.
Cosby also said he woke up, thought he was late for work, struck his head on an entertainment center and went back to sleep, the detective said. Harris was also not there in that account.
The Alabama man was seen toting a multicolored Dakine roller suitcase to his rented white Chevy sport utility vehicle that 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.
A prostitute from Las Vegas who had been in Honolulu for about a week with another "working girl" and their boyfriend/pimp, Harris had met up with another man at Kelley O'Neil's pub before linking up with Cosby outside the bar at about 3:30 a.m., according to Akagi.
Defense attorney Lt. Col. Clay Plummer 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 using special lights and Luminol, a substance used to identify blood.
"Nothing was found," Akagi said.
The Medical Examiner's Office said the cause of death for Harris was injury to the neck.
Cosby, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist, had arrived in Hawaii from his duty station in Iwakuni, Japan, on May 15 for a temporary duty JPAC mission to China.
His cellphone number was tracked to a cellular tower in Waianae on the morning that he was supposed to report to JPAC at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 9 a.m, officials said.
Navy Senior Chief Jeremy Porter, the senior enlisted service member for explosive ordnance disposal for JPAC, said Cosby showed up for work at about 9:45 a.m.
Porter said Cosby told him the cut over his eye happened when he slipped on a rug and hit his face on a dresser.
"You could tell he was distracted," Porter said, adding that Cosby didn't look him in the eye.
Cosby was questioned when he returned to Hawaii from China and was placed under arrest. 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, Ore., but was living in Las Vegas, was in Hawaii with Jillian Gibides, another woman, and Mark Miles, who was described as Harris' and Gibides' boyfriend and pimp.
Plummer, the defense counsel, asked Akagi if police traced cellphone tower contacts for Miles' phone. Akagi said no such tracking was done.
According to Miles, the visiting prostitutes experienced no problems with local counterparts and had come to Hawaii before, Akagi said.
Gibides previously said that Harris, her friend, had planned to celebrate her birthday May 18 in Hawaii.
No family members of Harris or Cosby were in court Wednesday, an official said.