On January 16, 1997, the son of disgraced comedian and TV star Bill Cosby was shot to death during a roadside robbery attempt.
27-year-old Ennis Cosby had pulled off Interstate 405 in Los Angeles at around 1 a.m. to change a flat tire when he was approached by 17-year old Mikhail Markhasev who was high on drugs. The teen demanded Cosby hand over his money and then opened fire when he took too long.
Ennis Cosby was a graduate student in special education at Columbia University Teachers College and was on vacation in Los Angeles at the time of the shooting. He was the third of Bill Cosby’s five children and said to be the inspiration for the character of Theo Huxtable on the hit TV sitcom “The Cosby Show,”
At the time of Ennis Cosby’s death, his father was still considered America’s favorite TV dad, and the news of his son’s random murder was greeted by shock and sadness by the public and the entertainment industry.
Markhasev was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole. At the request of the Cosby family, prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.
During his trial, Markhasev, a Ukranian born immigrant, reportedly showed no remorse for his crime; however, in 2001, he confessed his guilt, stopped his appeals process and apologized to the Cosby family.
Bill Cosby is also in jail serving a three to 10 year sentence after he was convicted in 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He maintains his innocence and says he will not express remorse if and when he comes up for parole.
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