Steven Cozzie Found Guilty - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Steven Cozzie Found Guilty

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Walton County, Fla. -

It was step one in a long battle for justice, Friday.

Accused murderer Steven Cozzie was found guilty of first degree murder in the slaying of 15 year old Courtney Ann Wilkes.

Courtney's mom and dad, Toni and Cordy Wilkes, along with sister Callie and brother William were in tears, surrounded by family and supporters as they learned the verdict.

In just two hours, the jury of 4 men and 8 women reached their decision.

Along with first degree murder, Cozzie is also found guilty of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, and kidnapping with a weapon with the intent to commit a felony.

For the Wilkes family and the prosecution, it is step one in seeking vindication for their beloved daughter.

Meanwhile, Cozzie's mother was visibly shaken by Friday's verdict.

The penalty phase will begin Monday, which seeks to pair the proper punishment with the totality of the circumstances of this case.

The prosecution's task now is to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Cozzie does deserve the death penalty, which they are seeking.

Of the 12 jurors, they need a majority vote to sentence Cozzie to death by lethal injection.

That's 7 people to reach a majority.

For now, both sides have the weekend to prepare and the Wilkes family has, perhaps, a moment to take a breath after a week of reliving the worst day of their lives.

Stay with News 13 as our coverage of the Cozzie murder trial continues.


BREAKING: Steven Cozzie has been found guilty on all charges including Premeditated Murder.

The penalty phase of the trial will begin on Monday at the Walton County Courthouse.

Cozzie murdered Courtney Wilkes, a Georgia teenager, while she and her family were vacationing in South Walton County back in June of 2011.