February 11, 2001 -- The man convicted of the 1997 murder of Bill Cosby's son made a surprise confession Friday and said he no longer wants to pursue an appeal.
The deputy attorney general acting for the state of California in the appeal case, Kyle Brodie, released the contents of a letter in which convicted killer Mikhail Markhasev, 22, admitted his guilt.
"I'm guilty and I want to do the right thing," Markhasev wrote to Brodie. The convicted killer also wrote that he wanted to abandon the appeal because "it's based on falsehood and deceit," Brodie told Reuters.
Markhasev also wrote, "More than anything, I want to apologize to the victim's family. It is my duty as a Christian and it is the least I can do after the great wickedness for which I am responsible." Brodie called the statement "powerful" and said that he was stunned by the confession. The Cosby family has been notified of the letter, Brodie said.
Markhasev added that he wanted to spare his family further public humiliation stemming from the ordeal.
His appeal, filed in August 1998, was dismissed by the Second District Court of Appeal at noon Friday after Markhasev and his lawyer abandoned a bid to overturn the conviction.
The Ukrainian immigrant was convicted in July 1998 and is serving a life sentence without parole in California's Corcoran prison.
Markhasev shot 27-year-old Ennis Cosby at point-blank range in January 1997 after Cosby stopped by the side of a road just off a Los Angeles freeway to change a flat tire.
Ennis Cosby was an educator who had been pursuing a doctoral degree at Columbia University in New York at the time of his death. His death prompted a national outpouring of grief. It also spurred public outcry and partisan wrath over a move by California Gov. Gray Davis, who was then the state's lieutenant governor, to offer a $50,000 reward in taxpayer money to help catch Cosby's killer.
Reuters contributed to this story.