FL Man Who Killed Teen gets Death Sentence

By: Associated Press
By: 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.

Witnesses connected Cozzie to Wilkes, and he was arrested shortly after her body was found.

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