Gouker pleads guilty to all charges
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Joshua Gouker, who, along with his son, Joshua Young, is charged with the beating death of Trey Zwicker in 2011, has pleaded guilty to all charges.
Gouker and Young were both charged with complicity to murder in Zwicker's death. Young is charged with tampering with physical evidence. Gouker was also charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and unlawful transaction with a minor.
Zwicker was Gouker's stepson. Gouker's plea comes exactly two years after Trey Zwicker was killed.
Under questioning by Judge Barry Willett, Gouker explained in chilling detail how he killed Zwicker. He said he just wanted to scare Zwicker, and teach him a lesson for stealing his cigarette lighter. But Gouker says he lost control and beat his stepson to death with a metal pipe.
Gouker could receive up to life in prison. Sentencing is set for July 29th, which would have been his trial date.
During his confession, Gouker once again told the judge that his son and co-defendant, Josh Young, had nothing to do with the murder. Young sat just a few feet away.
The judge denied a request by Young's attorney to release the now 17-year-old from custody. His trial is set for this fall.
Terry Zwicker, Trey's father, said Friday, "As long as I got a guilty, I'm fine and I'm ecstatic. So this weekend will be pretty good to me. Two years without nothing, and now I'm going to see justice roll. At least one time."
Gouker's attorney Mark Hall would not say whether Gouker was simply trying to take the heat off his son: "The guilty plea speaks for itself. He went before the court and he acknowledged his guilt."
Terry Zwicker said, "I got one of the people that we need to put in prison for the rest of their life. And we've got one more."
In an interview with WDRB's Bennett Haeberle in August of 2012, Gouker admitted he killed Zwicker because he was upset. He said he was struggling with the fact his wife aborted their baby and was upset because he believed Trey has stolen marijuana from him.
Later in the interview he said he was sorry, but warned that if he was ever released from prison he would hurt other people if he could.
"Never let me back out," Gouker said. "I'm no good out there."
Students at Liberty High School on East Indian Trail found Zwicker's body outside the school in May of 2011. He had been beaten with a baseball bat.
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- WDRB News interviews Joshua Gouker
- Joshua Gouker ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation
- Gouker, Young indicted for murder of 14-year-old
- Trey Zwicker's father says he's frustrated with legal system
- New details released in murder of Trey Zwicker
- Woman blames her own son in death of 14-year-old Trey Zwicker
- Arrest made in Trey Zwicker murder case
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