17-year-old Joshua Young stands trial for helping father murder his step-brother (Live Stream)
Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of 17-year-old Joshua Young who is accused of helping his father murder his stepbrother.
Young was originally charged with murder and tampering with evidence; however, he now stands trial for charges of complicity to murder and complicity to tampering with evidence. He will be tried as an adult in the Jefferson County Circuit Court in Louisville. Young was 15-years-old when he was arrested.
Trey Zwicker, 14, was found beaten to death on May 10, 2011, outside Liberty High School in Louisville Kentucky. His stepbrother, Young, was initially arrested for the murder but over a year later Young’s father, Joshua Gouker, claimed that he was responsible.
On July 26, 2012, Gouker was charged with murder, wanton endangerment and unlawful transaction with a minor, tampering with physical evidence, torture of a dog or cat and persistent felony offender. At his arraignment on August 15, 2012, Gouker reportedly told the judge that he killed Zwicker and acted alone. Whether this is true or whether it’s a father trying to protect his son will be up to the jury to decide.
Gouker pleaded guilty to murder on May 10, 2013, and told the judge that he “just snapped” after his stepson stole food and lighter from him and he hit Zwicker with a pipe. He said he wanted to teach him a lesson and testified: “before I knew it, it was over.” He also told the judge that his son “had nothing to do with [the murder].” He was sentenced Friday, July 26, 2013, to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty years. Zwicker’s mother and stepmother were present at Gouker’s sentencing and asked the judge for the maximum penalty.
Prosecutors are expected to call Gouker to the stand to testify in Young’s trial Thursday.
Young has been in custody in the Juvenile Detention Center for the past two years. Prosecutors believe that Young acted in concert with his father in the murder of Zwicker.
Fifteen jurors were selected Tuesday – five men and ten women – three of which will be selected at random to be alternates. The jurors were questioned about Young’s age, fifteen-years-old at the time of arrest, and how that may impact their decision.
The jury was sworn in and testimony began Wednesday morning.
You can catch all the action as it unfolds right here at Wild About Trial by watching our live stream.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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