Passport to Murder Attorney Steven Cozzie
Steven Cozzie was found guilty in Florida for the murder of Courtney Wilkes and is now on Florida’s death row; this case was featured on ID series Passport to Murder.
In the penalty phase, the State provided victim impact evidence from Courtney’s parents and godfather. Following deliberations by a jury, it unanimously recommended Cozzie receive the death sentence.
Early Life and Education
According to his half-sister, Cozzie endured difficult circumstances growing up. His family relocated frequently and Cozzie faced persistent bullying at school. A relative molested and physically abused him.
Michael Spencer, one of Cozzie’s closest friends, testified that Cozzie told him he killed Courtney Wilkes shortly after she vanished and took him to a nature trail where they showed him her body.
A forensic psychologist has testified that Cozzie is an antisocial personality with psychotic features. He experiences difficulty reading social cues and command hallucinations, difficulty maintaining interpersonal relationships and sleep disorders as well as inability to control his emotions resulting in frequent self-harming behavior.
Last week, Attorney Steven Cozzi left his Largo, Florida office to visit the bathroom but never returned. Jake Blanchard reports going into check on him and finding blood all over the door of the restroom, the wall stall, and on top of the toilet floor.
Police believe Cozzi was murdered as the result of an act perpetrated by plastic surgeon Tomasz Roman Kosowski, who represented defendants against Cozzi in civil proceedings and had sued her in an earlier civil suit filed by Kosowski himself. Kosowski was apprehended on Saturday and charged with attempted murder.
Crime rocked Florida’s scenic 30-A area in January. The incident was featured on ID’s Passport to Murder show, which focuses on murders that take place abroad or at US beach towns. While tragic for victims and loved ones involved, investigators faced with this investigation endured immense stress.
Achievement and Honors
Cozzie’s lawyers attempted to persuade jurors that Cozzie should be spared execution by appealing to jurors’ sympathy by speaking about his difficult childhood and asserting that he only possessed an IQ score of 83, but this effort ultimately failed. Millions of people live through difficult lives but few commit such horrific crimes as Cozzie had.
Bob has served the City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications since 1995 in various roles such as call taker, supervisor, trainer and Public Information Officer. Today he leads BOEC’s 911 department by creating an environment which upholds multiple collective bargaining agreements as well as City policies and bureau policies while encouraging team collaboration and professional growth within his team – as well as representing them on police and fire dispatch committees.
Jurors heard testimony from members of Cozzie’s family during the second day of his death penalty trial, including his two younger half-sisters who had difficult childhoods due to molestation by their step-brother.
He had difficulty reading social cues; heard voices and experienced command hallucinations; experienced physical abuse from his stepsister; likely psychotic; dissociative reactions and blackouts were commonplace; in addition, sleep disorders and impulsivity were issues as well as present in this individual’s history.
Cozzie also presented evidence of his prior attacks and lack of remorse, which undermined his contention that cognitive deficits prevented him from planning his behavior according to legal requirements and conforming it with what the law required of him. Thus, the jury upheld Cozzie’s death sentence.
Steven Cozzie reportedly has an estimated net worth of $2 Million. He graduated with his Juris Doctorate degree from Stetson University and currently works as Associate Attorney at Blanchard Law, P.A. located in Largo, Florida.
Courtney Wilkes of Georgia was found dead just hours after she went missing from her family’s vacation home at Seagrove Beach in Florida. Police later identified the victim as someone who had been strangled to death and struck over the head with a stick before succumbing to their injuries.
The jury had determined four aggravating circumstances which should have an enormous effect on sentencing: (1) sexual battery, child abuse and kidnapping were committed prior to this killing; (2) any act committed was particularly atrocious or cruel; (3) premeditated killing without moral or legal justification and with intent to avoid arrest were all key components.