Testimony begins in Cozzie murder trial

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM.

Cozzie, who wore glasses and a crew cut in court, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree premeditated murder. He also is charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and child abuse.

Prosecutor Bobby Elmore made sure in his opening statement Tuesday afternoon that jurors knew just how brutal Courtney Wilkes’ death had been. He said evidence would show beyond any reasonable doubt that Cozzie killed her.

“Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam,” Elmore shouted across the courtroom. “Ten times I hit her.”

Cozzie bragged about his deed to a witness, Michael Spencer, as he showed off Wilkes’ body, Elmore said.

The crushing blows to the skull ended the life of the girl Cozzie had strangled nearly to death with his shirt, drug into the bushes off a nature trail, beaten, stripped and raped, Elmore told the jury.

Although those in the courtroom had been warned against outbursts, Wilkes family members had to walk out twice during Elmore’s opening statement, some of them sobbing openly.

Elmore furthered his argument with photos, including those of the crime scene and Courtney Wilkes’ ravaged body that drew an objection from defense attorney Spiro Kypreos.

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