Testimony begins in Cozzie murder trial

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

Kypreos compared Elmore’s opening to dragging a skunk through the jury box. “How do you get the smell out?” he asked.

He reminded jurors that they will convict or not convict Cozzie based on evidence, not the theatrics of a prosecuting attorney.

“Every single word he said to you for the last hour and 15 minutes are not evidence in this case. The photos he showed you are not evidence in this case at this time,” Kypreos said.

Both attorneys urged jurors to listen to evidence as it was presented during the trial. Kypreos said witness Michael Spencer could be particularly key.

Spencer, 18, at the time of the killing, had once boasted to Cozzie that he had killed two men, according to Elmore. Cozzie went to Spencer after killing Courtney Wilkes and took him to show him the body.

Spencer was with Cozzie when emergency personnel looking for Courtney Wilkes questioned them. He told them nothing at first, but after being urged later by an Internet chat room friend and a relative to step forward, he took Walton County sheriff’s deputies to the body.

According to statements given much later by Cozzie, Spencer held a gun on him and forced him to kill the young vacationer.

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