By Malia Mattoch McManus
HONOLULU (Reuters) - A U.S. Marine has been referred for trial by court-martial in Hawaii on charges of killing a visiting Las Vegas prostitute who was last seen alive outside a bar in the tourist hub of Waikiki, authorities said on Friday.
Master Sergeant Nathaniel Cosby is charged with unpremeditated murder in the death of 29-year-old Ivanice "Ivy" Harris and will face arraignment in an Oahu military court on November 21, the Marine Corps and Honolulu prosecutors said in a joint statement.
Cosby is also charged with voluntary manslaughter, obstructing justice and attempting to patronize a prostitute.
Harris was last seen outside a Waikiki bar at 2:15 a.m. on May 16, and her body was found four days later, police said. A Facebook page set up by friends during her disappearance identifies her as a Las Vegas prostitute who was visiting Hawaii at the time of her death.
Honolulu's Star-Advertiser newspaper has reported that Cosby had been captured on surveillance video entering a Waikiki hotel with Harris, but the report did not say when the footage was taken. The paper said Cosby had been on temporary military assignment in Hawaii at the time.
The joint statement from the Marines and prosecutors said Cosby was arrested by Honolulu police on June 5 at the Honolulu International Airport on his return from a POW/MIA accounting mission overseas.
The case was subsequently turned over to the U.S. Marine Corps for investigation under the uniform code of military justice.
Following a military evidentiary hearing in September, the commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Pacific Forces, Lieutenant General Terry Robling, has referred the charges against Cosby to a general court-martial. No trial date has been set.
Cosby, 38, is being held in pretrial confinement at the Pearl Harbor Brig.
(Reporting by Malia Mattoch McManus; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Ken Wills)