Day Four of Steven Cozzie Trial Focuses on Medical Evidence - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Day Four of Steven Cozzie Trial Focuses on Medical Evidence

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Day four of the murder trial of Steven Cozzie continued Thursday with another key witness for the prosecution.

Thursday, the Chief Medical Examiner for District 1 responsible for performing Wilkes' autopsy two years ago took the stand.

Cozzie would not look up as, one by one, autopsy pictures were displayed depicting the extent of Wilkes injuries.

Dr. Andrea Minyard outlined the extensive list in great detail, ultimately revealing cause of death.

"The combined impacts of blunt impact to the head and strangulation," said Minyard, giving her professional opinion to the cause of 15 year old Courtney Wilkes death nearly two years ago.

The expert in forensic pathology outlined an extensive list of injuries, namely the ligature marks from strangulation and the damage to Wilkes' skull.

"There was a five by five inch measurement externally of fractures to the left temporal skull," said Minyard.

She believes the fractures came from a blunt object.

Previous testimony points to a piece of lumber, but the number of blows is unknown.

"I would have to base it low and say at least two. Now, can that much damage be done from just two blows? I'd have to see the piece of wood," said Minyard.

The prosecution went to evidence, pulling out two pieces of blood spattered wood recovered from the scene.

"Did the injuries you see to her head, could they have been afflicted by this piece of lumber," asked Assistant State Attorney, Bobby Elmore.

"Yes," said Minyard.

"Could the injuries have been afflicted by this blood soaked piece of limb," asked Elmore of the other piece.

"Yes," she replid.

The murder weapon has never been officially determined, which the defense made a point to clarify.

"Assume that we haven't heard any testimony that these are the murder weapons," said Spiro Kypreos, Cozzie's Attorney

As the day continued with expert DNA analyst, Jennifer Hatler from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, DNA evidence shows the wood contained Wilkes's DNA and both full and partial profiles from Cozzie's DNA were recovered from clothing worn by Wilkes and from her body.

Forensic evidence also showed damage of a sexual nature, with mirrored contusions to her inner thighs and external sexual organs.

Cozzie is charged with strangulation, aggravated child abuse, sexual assault and kidnapping under the umbrella of that first degree murder charge.