Defense Rested in Day 3 of Steven Cozzie Trial

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Both sides have rested in the Steven Cozzie murder trial. The defense rested without a single witness.

During the last day of testimony two medical experts take the stand, talking about DNA, the murder weapon and the cause of Courtney Wilkes' violent death.

DNA Analyst Jennifer Hatler from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says she found a trace of what they believe is Cozzie's DNA on Courtney Wilkes' clothes. Cozzie is accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and then killing the Georgia teenager two years ago.

"Assuming that Courtney Wilkes, exhibit MC-11A is a contributor to the mixture because it is her bikini bottoms a partial foreign DNA profile was obtained. The DNA profile from Steven Cozzie which is my exhibit JC-11 is included as a possible contributor to the foreign DNA profile" said Hatler.

Hatler reviewed several other items of evidence including two pieces of wood believed to be the murder weapons. Medical examiner Andrea Minyard also took the stand to explain injuries to Wilkes' body documented in her autopsy report.

"The left temporal scalp, which again is this part of the scalp above the left ear, had a two and half inch laceration. That means a cut in the skin. Beneath that laceration I could see that there were skull fractures. So I could actually see the skull and see that it was fractured" said Minyard.

The Medical Examiner also explained what she says may be the cause of death.

"I believed that she was strangled or choked. Now whether or not that actually caused her death I’m not certain. It was either the head injury, or the strangulation or them combined together. I don't mean to jump ahead but I actually did attribute it to the combination of the two" said Minyard.

The defense then tried to discredit Minyard's testimony because she was not able to pinpoint exactly how Wilkes died. Courtney Wilkes' family was not in the court room when the medical examiner showed several graphic photos taken the autopsy.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 211467851 - wjhg.com/a?a=211467851
Gray Television, Inc.