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Man who killed teen gets death sentence

October 17, 2013
Associated Press

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida Panhandle man convicted of killing a teenage Georgia girl on vacation with her family has been sentenced to death.

Following a jury's unanimous recommendation, a Walton County judge handed down 23-year-old Steven Cozzie's sentence on Thursday. Cozzie was convicted in June of first-degree murder, sexual battery, aggravated child abuse and kidnapping.

Authorities say 15-year-old Courtney Wilkes was found dead in Seagrove Beach a day after she went missing in June 2011. She and her family had been visiting from Lyons, Ga.

The Northwest Florida Daily News ( reports that witnesses connected Cozzie to Wilkes, and he was arrested shortly after her body was found.


Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.),



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