It had not taken long for the jury to decide that Markhasev was guilty of the murder and robbery of Ennis Cosby. They deliberated for six hours. Ennis Cosby, 27, a vacationing graduate student from Columbia University, was shot Jan. 16, 1997, while changing a flat tire on a dark road near Bel-Air. Markhasev was arrested nearly two months later.
As the verdict was read, Markhasev looked over his shoulder, possibly looking for his family. His gaze stopped on two of Ennis Cosby's sisters.
Markhasev later made an obscene gesture to photographers.
His attorney, deputy public defender Henry Hall, tried to explain his client's mood: "He just got convicted of murder and will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. He's 19 years old. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you how he feels about it."
Markhasev's family arrived late to the courtroom. He spoke in Russian with his mother, and deputies explained they had to take him away. Markhasev's mother sat throughout the trial on the same bench as the Cosby family.
Though Bill and Camille Cosby showed up for closing arguments on Monday, they didn't come back for the verdict. But two of Ennis Cosby's sisters sat, holding hands, and they hugged as the verdict was read.
Hughes reports that the jurors did not seem overly affected Monday by the presence of Bill and Camille Cosby, who sat in the front row. One of the jurors speaking out Wednesday morning said that no matter who Ennis Cosby was or who was his father, he was just another human being.
In a written statement, the Cosbys said they were "satisfied with the legal process." In an interview last September with CBS 'This Morning' Co-Anchor Mark McEwen, Bill Cosby said a convicion wouldn't heal the pain.
"What you get is an answer to who did it," Cosby told McEwen. "What you get is an answer to, perhaps, how and why. So even though they may be caught, put on trial, and then sentenced, [there is] no closure."
While the defense blamed the media's focusing on Cosby's fame as a factor in the guilty verdict, prosecutor Anne Ingalls had a different viewpoint.
"I think that the evidence convicted Mr. Markhasev," said Ingalls. "I think Mr. Markhasev convicted Mr. Markhasev and not the media."
Ingalls was referring to jailhouse letters that she presented as evidence in the case. In those letters, she said, Markhasev admitted to the crime by mentioning a robbery gone bad.