Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Joshua Gouker has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Terrence "Trey" Zwicker.
Zwicker's body was found outside Liberty High School in May of 2011. He had been beaten to death. Zwicker was Gouker's stepson.
Both Zwicker's mother and stepmother were in court Friday and made tearful pleas to Judge Barry Willet to sentence Gouker to the maximum penalty.
"He doesn't deserve pity, he doesn't deserve mercy," said Trey's mother, Amanda McFarland. "Judge, I beg you: sentence him to the most severe sentence possible. He has nothing to contribute to society. He leaves nothing but a path of destruction."
Willet had harsh words for Gouker as he gave him a life sentence.
"And it just amazes me that you sit there with a smirk on your face, and you smile through the whole process, knowing the pain that you've caused these people," Willet said. "I hope I never set eyes on you again."
Gouker could be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Gouker's son, 17-year-old Josh Young, is also charged in Zwicker's murder. His trial could start Monday.
Gouker and Young were both charged with complicity to murder in Zwicker's death. Young was 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.
He pleaded guilty to all charges in May.
During his confession, Gouker once again told the judge that his son and co-defendant, had nothing to do with the murder. We do not yet know whether Gouker will be called to testify in Young's trial. which begins on Monday.
Trey's grandmother speculates about the reason that Gouker offered a full fledged confession: "He only did that to try to save his son," she says.
But attorneys on both sides argue something different, arguing that Gouker's motives are not about protection. Prosecutor Elizabeth Jones-Brown: said Friday, "Either he taught his son how to murder someone or he brought his innocent son into this just to deflect attention from himself."
But Mark Hall, Gouker's attorney, say, "Did he plead guilty to save his son? You know, I don't know how anyone could truly make that comment because obviously that hasn't done anything to change what the Commonwealth intends to do to go forward have a trial against Mr. Young. "I think he truly came forward and took responsibility for what he did."
A family still angry, still grieving, as Trey's grandmother puts it: "Try to go for probation in 20 years, which he ain't never going to get because I'm going to be there every day.