Cosby claims self-defense in death of Ore. woman

Published On: Apr 24 2014 12:00:00 PM HST

A marine admits to killing a woman he slept with, but he is claiming self-defense.

Master Sgt. Nathaniel Cosby demonstrated in a military court on Wednesday what he says went down on the night that Ivanice Harris of Oregon was killed.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

Nearly a year after her disappearance, Cosby took the stand in his General Court-Martial.

One of the first questions the defense asked was, "Did you murder Ms. Harris?"  Cosby responded, "No, sir, I did not."

Cosby said he'd been drinking for 10 hours on the night he met Harris at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki.  But, he only recalled the event after seeing himself on video surveillance footage.

His memory appeared to be spotty until the two made it back to Cosby's hotel room where he remembers falling asleep in bed.

That's when Cosby says Harris started to get upset.

"She was telling me I need to get up and pay her," said Cosby.

The defense asked, "Pay her for what?"  Cosby replied, "At the time I didn't know.  I was confused.  I just kept asking her, 'What are you talking about?'"

He, then, realized Harris was a prostitute and that's when things escalated.  Cosby says he told her to leave and the two started yelling and exchanging words.

"At that point, it was a fight," said Cosby.

The marine says Harris cut his arm with a lipstick knife.  That's when he decided to get a hold of the weapon.

He says he grabbed her wrist with one hand, got behind her and put his other arm around her neck saying, "It was chaos.  She's kicking.  She's kicking me and I"m trying to hold on.  I was trying to submit her."

Cosby says his eyes were covered in his own blood from a cut to his head.  He couldn't see, but let go of Harris when she stopped fighting.  The marine started to cry in court when recalling the point he realized Harris had died.

"I panicked.  I was lost.  I didn't know what to do," said Cosby.

He admits to driving Harris' body out near Yokohama Bay and dumping it.  Cosby also admitted to going into hiding saying he later cleaned his hotel room and checked out early only to find another hotel to wait out the days until he was supposed to leave the island.

While Cosby says he didn't murder Harris, he did admit to killing her, but says he didn't mean to.


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