Joshua Gouker ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Joshua Gouker ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Joshua Gouker, accused of murdering his 14-year-old stepson Trey Zwicker, has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.  Gouker's attorneys want to find out whether he is competent to stand trial.

Gouker appeared in court for the first time with his son, Joshua Young, who is also charged in Trey Zwicker's murder.  They sat at separate tables and did not appear to make eye contract.

Judge Barry Willett on Friday granted a request by Gouker's attorney Mark Hall that Gouker be given a psychiatric evaluation.  He'll be sent to the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange to determine whether he is competent to stand trial for the murder of Trey Zwicker.

The last time he was in court, Gouker attempted to plead guilty.  He has said previously that he was going to take the rap for his son.

Gouker's attorney Mark Hall said Friday, "I'm not going to comment on anything that's been said in the past. Just, at this point, it's a motion that's made in good faith. The experts will determine whether he has competence to stand trial or not competent. The court will make that determination."

But Shelly Stewart, Trey Zwicker's grandmother, replied, "Is he crazy? No. No. He's a conniver. He's a manipulator. A master manipulator."

And Trey's father, Terry Zwicker, says, "He murdered my son, so he's definitely crazy. Should that be a defense? No. Not at all. He just got out of serving time and it wasn't from a psych ward, it was from a penitentiary. So, he was more than competent enough to be there."

Meanwhile, Josh Young's attorney, Pete Schuler, asked the judge to reduce the 16-year-old's bond from $50,000 cash to either $30,000 or $60,000 property.  He says an uncle is willing to put up his house as bond:  "15 months is a long time to be deprived of your liberty when you're an adolescent because you're going through so many rapid changes. And he's had his childhood taken away from him."

But Terry Zwicker responds, "As far as him losing his childhood, who cares? My son did too. And there's no liberty there. Amen. Yessir."

Judge Willett will rule on that later.

Young has been in juvenile detention for 15 months.  The judge has set an April 15, 2013 date for this case to go to trial.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

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