What was Ennis Cosby's accused killer doing before the murder?

Smoking crack at an exclusive Bel-Air home not far from the crime, if you believe a Los Angeles television-news report.

According to Fox affiliate KTTV, Mikhail Markhasev was at the home of Gabe Drapel, about 90 minutes before Cosby was shot alongside an L.A. freeway.

Drapel's roommate, Tracy West (who also goes by the name Nicole Ashley), told Fox Wednesday that Drapel told her Markhasev was with Eli Zakaria and Zakaria's girlfriend, Sara Ann Peters, the night of the murder. She claims that, according to Drapel, at least Zakaria--and possibly the others--smoked cocaine at the house before leaving at about 1 a.m.

The next day West says Drapel told her: "I hope it wasn't those three from last night who are responsible for the murder, because they had said they were going to kill us a nigger." It was unclear in the report which of the three made that statement, but Drapel purportedly also told West that Markhasev and Zakaria were carrying guns.

The Fox report claimed that prosecutors are considering calling West as a witness in the murder trial, so she could place Markhasev near the scene close to the time of the killing.

When asked to corroborate West's account, Drapel, a real-estate salesman, told Fox that Markhasev and his two friends were indeed at the house that night. But he insists he threw them out earlier (around 12:20 a.m.), they did not smoke coke inside, he saw no guns, and he never heard anyone vowing to kill "a nigger."

West also said she phoned in an anonymous tip to Los Angeles police a few hours after the murder. However, Markhasev, was not arrested until nearly two months later, based on a tipster's call to the National Enquirer.

USA Today reported in May that authorities questioned Zakaria, 23, and Peters, 21, as possible witnesses to the murder. According to statements given to police, the three pals were high on drugs and stopped at a phone near the murder scene to contact a drug dealer for more. While Zakaria was dialing, Markhasev headed up the street toward Cosby's disabled car.

Cosby, 27, was the only son of Bill and Camille Cosby. He was shot in the head while changing a flat on his dad's Mercedes-Benz convertible.

Markhasev has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. Both Peters and Zakaria have criminal records; among the latter's offenses: evading an officer, peddling cocaine and burglary.

Just a few weeks ago, Markhasev's former lawyer said the prosecution's case was on shaky ground for relying too heavily on criminals and unreliable witnesses.

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