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Walton County man learns if he'll face the death penalty or life in prison for murder
WALTON -- A Walton County man will soon learn his fate after a jury recommended the death penalty.
23 year old Steven Cozzie was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, sexual battery, aggravated child abuse and kidnapping.
Cozzie lured 15 year old Courtney Wilkes away from her family vacationing from Georgia back in June 2011.
He took Wilkes to the secluded Cassine Gardens Nature Trail where he used his shirt to strangle her afterward dragging her into a dry cypress swamp where he raped her and beat her to death.
Thursday a judge will determine if Cozzie will receive the death penalty or spend the rest of his life behind bars.