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Cozzie Pleads Not Guilty
Tuesday, 19 July 2011

July 19--  The man accused of killing 15-year-old Courtney Wilkes of Lyons is pleading not guilty.

The public defender for 22-year-old Steven Cozzie entered a written plea of not guilty in Walton County Superior Court July 7.

Cozzie was indicted July 1st on charges of felony murder, sexual battery with a weapon, kidnapping and child abuse.  He was arrested hours after Courtney's body was found in a wooded area about a half mile from where she and her family were staying in a condo in Seagrove Beach, Florida.

State prosecutor Bobby Elmore says he expects officials will decide in the next few weeks if they will seek the death penalty in the case.

Cozzie has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for September 22 before circuit court Judge Kelvin Wells in DeFuniak Springs, Florida.  Elmore says he expects it will be at least a year before the case goes to trial.

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