Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The father of a murdered teen says he is "devastated" and feels "let down" after the person he holds responsible for his son's death was acquitted of murder charges.
Terry Zwicker, father of Trey Zwicker, says his son was failed not once, but twice -- once in life, and once in death -- as 17-year-old Joshua Young is released from custody and returns home an innocent man. Zwicker told WDRB that he blames a lack of credible witnesses, not the prosecution for the not guilty verdict.
15-year-old Trey Zwicker was found beaten to death behind Liberty High School in May of 2011. His step-dad, Joshua Gouker, is currently serving a life sentence after admitting to the murder. Zwicker's step-brother, Joshua Young, was acquitted of complicity to murder and tampering with evidence charges Friday.
Days later, the victim's family says the teen got off easy.
"Pretty much, he got away with murder," said Terry Zwicker.
He says he doesn't agree with the verdict, but after two years of having to re-live the details of his son's death, he says he's ready to move on.
"I lost two years ago, and not guilty or guilty, I was going to lose. The justice wasn't going to be fair to me, it was never going to be fair to me."
He says he has already dealt with what he calls, "the hard stuff", and everything else--including the not guilty verdict--is comparatively easy.
"Losing my child was the worst thing anybody could ever go through, dealing with the small words ['not guilty'] is actually going to be fairly easy compared to that."
Zwicker said an eleventh hour plea deal presented to his family by the defense was never an option. He called it a slap in the face.
"I wasn't there to win anything, I was just there to represent my son, so why gamble like that for Trey? If justice was going to be served, it would be served to the fullest."
Although he had nothing to say to Young, Zwicker said he is still confident of his involvement: "We all have to live with the choices we make in life. He'll have to live with his."