Cozart trial resumes on Wednesday

By Staff
Nathan Strickland
A Lauderdale County woman who allegedly abused a six-year-old boy while residing in Phil Campbell entered the courtroom Tuesday morning to start the process of fighting for her freedom.
Sharon Ann Cozart, 44, of 144 Young Circle in Florence faced a jury of her peers Tuesday morning because of a served indictment by a September 2009 grand jury with the charge of aggravated child abuse.
Based on the indictment, Cozart is accused of slapping the boy on the mouth, cheeks, nose and head on multiple occasions. She was also accused of shoving a cloth in his mouth and stretching his genitals.
At the time of the incident, reports show that Cozart was living with the child’s mother at Oakview Apartments in Phil Campbell.
Prior to the trial, Franklin County Courthouse officials said the District Attorney’s office offered a settlement of 15 years with a chance to get out in eight years pending good behavior.
Officials said Cozart refused the offer, and with that happening prior to the trial, a possible life sentence was put on the table.
Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey, who is presiding over the trial, welcomed opening arguments around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The arguments in the Cozart trial began with Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing sharing his opinion to the 13-member jury chosen for the trial.
Rushing argued that the evidence presented in the case would indicate Cozart was the one who abused a 6-year-old boy at a Phil Campbell residence in 2008.
Rushing claims the child was severely abused physically and the only two people who were around at the time of the incident was Cozart and the child’s mother. Rushing expressed that all of the evidence would point towards Cozart as the person who caused the bruises on the child.
Russellville attorney Rebecca Thomason said in her opening argument that the prosecution would make the case sound simple, but there are a lot of aspects the jury would need to pay special attention to.
Thomason argued that Cozart took care of the victim to the best of her ability and the boy’s mother took him to a “crack house so she could have relations with another man.”
Testimonies from the victim, his family members, a doctor, child forensic expert, ABI and DHR were presented to a jury during Tuesday’s session of the trial.
Photographs of the boy’s injuries that were taken by DHR were also presented as evidence in the case.
Cozart’s defense was that the boy had injured himself by walking into the bathroom door and getting his head stuck in a bicycle rack while playing outside.
The trial continues today as jurors try to put together the puzzle presented to them.
Officials said the boy is currently under the care of Marion County’s DHR and is living with another family member.

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