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Archive for Thursday, November 27, 1997

COSBY WILL STAND TRIAL ON VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE

November 27, 1997

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Police say David E. Walker was choking Lafayette Cosby just before Cosby allegedly stabbed Walker.

David E. Walker and the man who has been charged with killing him had argued in the past but were getting along at a party Nov. 1.

Hours later, Walker was dead with four stab wounds, and Lafayette Cosby was named the suspect.

Cosby, 18, Lawrence, will now face a Feb. 4 trial for voluntary manslaughter, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Lawrence Police Det. Mike McAtee interviewed Cosby after he turned himself in to police on Nov. 4, two days after Walker died at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. McAtee testified that Walker and Cosby had an argument in the past, but that an intoxicated Walker apologized to Cosby at a party at the Colony Woods apartments, 1301 W. 24th.

"He said they were getting along real well and they had a good conversation," McAtee said during Cosby's preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Walker, 23, then got into a fight with two people at the party. Cosby, who told McAtee he "had problems" with some of Walker's friends, left later and was walking to his car with friends when Walker grabbed him from behind and threw him against a car.

Cosby told McAtee that Walker began choking him, released his grip, and then began choking him again, with more force.

"At this point, Mr. Cosby said he was being choked so hard he could not talk," McAtee said at the hearing.

Cosby told police he then pulled a kitchen knife with a 4-inch blade, a weapon he always carried for protection, and "aimed for Mr. Walker's ribs," McAtee said.

Walker let go, but then he punched Cosby, who "began stabbing at Mr. Walker numerous times," McAtee said. "He said he was able to stab him one time good."

Cosby said he stabbed Walker two more times, including in the chest area.

A group of Walker's friends, including one who followed Cosby as he ran from the apartment complex, saw the stabbing. Cosby got into a car with friends. He stayed in Lawrence one night and was in Topeka when he heard that Walker had died, McAtee said. Cosby then came back and turned himself in.

Prosecutors called Douglas County Coroner Erik Mitchell to testify, along with a witness who was at the party. Cosby's attorney, Kay Huff, also called someone who was at the party to the witness stand.

Cosby is being held on $35,000 bond in the Douglas County Jail.

If found guilty, Cosby could be sentenced to 17 years in prison.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is koger@ljworld.com.

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