Josh Young's foster family doubts his guilt
JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Joshua Young portrayed in court this week is not the teen his former foster family says they knew and lived with - just months before the death of Trey Zwicker.
It's based on their feelings of a stable seven months Josh Young lived with the family in Jeffersontown, after an already dysfunctional home life and the death of his mother.
They're watching conflicting claims in the trial closely.
Judy Prell told WDRB News that biting her tongue until her release from testimony Friday has been "very hard, very hard. Members of the family repeat, 'Where is the proof?' We know him to be a good person. We know him to be someone who enjoyed the company of this boy."
Prell was Josh Young's foster grandmother for seven months in 2010 and 2011.
"My first experience with him was 14-and-a-half years old, walking in the front door, carrying his three-and-a-half year old sister and keeping her happy, very expertly. That really made an impression on me."
Prell's family surrendered Josh Young's custody to his father, Josh Gouker, in March 2011. It was two months before the beating death of Josh's stepbrother Trey Zwicker.
"I don't believe that his inner nature changed in that length of time. And I certainly find it difficult to believe that he would have done anything whatsoever to hurt Trey Zwicker," Prell said.
It's an impression that differs from the accusation that Josh Young helped his father, Gouker, to kill Trey Zwicker, Josh's stepbrother.
Gouker first accused Josh, then later tried to deflect blame away from his son. Gouker's now convicted of the murder after his own trial earlier this year -- and serving a prison sentence.
"In my mind, I can't imagine. This was his father, and he was a kid, and if the father said, "Do this," he might have done it, but not certainly brought the harm to his friend," Prell said.
She explained further.
"I'm thinking he might have possibly been given an errand or something by his father, but I don't see him actually participating in the act, or being present during the act, I don't."
Judy Prell's daughter -- the foster mother to the children -- later adopted Josh Young's younger sister.
Trial resumes Monday in the middle of the prosecution's case.
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