‘It’s Haunting Me’: Steven Cozzi’s co-counsel in litigation potentially linked to his murder
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It still doesn’t make sense.
The disappearance and presumed death of attorney Steven Cozzi has left many in the legal community with questions.
Now we’re hearing from another attorney, Jake Pillsbury, who worked with Cozzi on the civil case that police believe may be related to the alleged crime.
Mr. Pillsbury was Cozzi’s co-counsel. On the other hand, a local doctor who had filed the lawsuit.
Police say doctor Tomasz Kosowski killed Cozzi.
“You had a feeling that you would win this case?” Saidi asked.
“We won,” Pillsbury replied.
“He never seemed emotional one way or another,” Pillsbury said of Kosowski. “The way he was on that call was pretty normal for him.”
On March 21, Cozzi and Pillsbury had a virtual court hearing. Her clients were advised by Dr. Kosowski sued for negligence. According to Pillsbury, the doctor blamed negative online reviews on billing discrepancies.
At 10:30 a.m., Pillsbury said he called the hearing. The doctor was there, but Steve wasn’t.
“Having Steve not there was really weird, and then he didn’t respond to my text messages, which was really weird,” Pillsbury recalled.
Largo police say Cozzi is dead and his body is in a car outside his office.
Court documents allege the doctor murdered Cozzi in the restroom and then dialed into the hearing.
“Once the defendant disconnects … the video captures the person at the crime scene beginning to move,” the documents said.
Shortly after the call, police were on the scene and a manhunt began to locate the suspect. Pillsbury says he spoke to detectives and shared his report.
“I knew it was him. I knew what happened,” he said, “I went straight home. I made sure my house was locked. We bought a new security system.”
“I wouldn’t leave the house, I was really scared. I didn’t sleep at night.”
Prosecutors are calling for the death penalty. The doctor’s lawyer, Björn Brunvand, urges patience.
“Despite the nature of the charges, he is presumed innocent,” Brunvand said.
The Tampa legal community honored Cozzi at a vigil following his death. The case stunned colleagues.
“Steve was … approachable, I run a virtual office,” Pillsbury said, “I keep thinking about how scary it probably was, how difficult it must have been for him to process it all.”
“It haunts me to think about what happened to him. Like I can’t handle the actual idea of what happened to him.”
Equally haunting are the what-ifs. Two months earlier, the doctor was in Cozzi’s office to testify. Pillsbury was on Zoom.
“Tom Kosowski was conducting witness testimony with very little information,” he said, “it was just constant and that witness felt uncomfortable.”
“Steve felt so sorry for her because she was beaten up.”
Court documents say the depot became “verbally controversial.”
Then the doctor allegedly confronted Cozzi in the toilet.
“When he approached him in the bathroom … I wish we had been like that … I wish we had brought this to the attention of the court quicker,” he said. “I constantly deal with a mixture of sadness, grief and guilt.”
To date, the police have not found Cozzi’s body.
Those who had the privilege of meeting Cozzi will never forget him.
“He deserved so much better, he just deserved so much better,” Pillsbury said. “Everyone lost, the world is worse today.”