Steven Cozzie is convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering 15 year old Courtney Wilkes, but Thursday a Spencer hearing took place - meaning the prosecution and defense can each submit evidence or bring up witnesses to try to sway the judge in his final decision to give Cozzie life in prison or the death penalty.
At the beginning of the hearing, the prosecution said they had no witnesses or evidence to add to their case, however after defense introduced their evidence, the prosecution had a change of heart. Cozzie's defense wanted to bring in a transcript of a recorded interview that one of the 15 year old witnesses had with the police. The conversation included some information about communication between herself and Cozzie's former friend - and a key witness in the case - Michael Spencer.
After noting that the 15 year old witness would need to be cross examined for things to be fair, prosecution chose to introduce the deposition of Michael Spencer to combat the transcribed interview.
"It's a matter that the state deserved to have the opportunity to cross examine the witness about," commented Assistant State Attorney Robert Elmore. "Now I don't think it's going to harm the state's case, but I felt it was an inappropriate procedural tactic."
Both sides will now provide a written memorandum to the court and wait to see what Judge Wells decision will be during sentencing on October 17th.