Steven Cozzie Gets Death Penalty

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS - A Walton County judge has sentenced Steven Cozzie to death for the murder of 15-year-old Courtney Wilkes.

Cozzie was convicted in June of kidnapping, raping, and killing Wilkes in 2011. The 15-year-old from Georgia was on vacation with her family.

In an attempt to save Cozzie's life, his attorney threw a closing argument curve ball, admitting Cozzie killed Wilkes. But he claimed it was not premeditated.

The jury found him guilty and then recommended the death penalty.

As expected, the judge took the jury's recommendation.

Newschannel 7's Cristina Pfeffer was in the courtroom for today's sentencing. She'll have reaction from Wilkes' mother tonight on Newschannel 7 at 5:00 and 6:00.