The Joshua Young Trial

By | August 7, 2013

If you’re an avid court watcher, then you are probably watching the Joshua Young trial. It’s no Jodi Arias trial but there is certainly no shortage of drama.

Josh Gouker, Joshua Young’s father, took the stand yesterday after both the defense and prosecuting attorney’s called him a “monster” and a “liar” in the past. He swore a lot and held nothing back on the stand. He confessed to killing 14-year old Terrance “Trey” Zwicker. He also admitted to killing a puppy and a cat in the past.

Josh Gouker felt justified in killing Trey since Trey’s mother Amanda McFarland had “killed several of mine” and because “it just felt right.”

Josh Gouker said that he lied when he told police that Joshua Young beat Trey to death with a baseball bat. He later said that Young did not participate in the crime.

Josh Gouker’s first cousin Cassie testified that Joshua Young woke her up to help him get rid of evidence. She also said that he brought her a bloody bag of clothes and a baseball bat stained with blood. She then said she drove Joshua Young to an isolated area where he disposed of the alleged murder weapon.

Cassie’s boyfriend John Robertson also testified. He said that Joshua Young told him that he killed Trey with a wooden baseball bat. John Robertson had originally told police that Joshua Young did not kill Trey but “wants the truth to come out.” He also lied to the police because he was frightened of Josh Gouker.

Several others testified including Dr. Amy Beckman, medical examiner, several inmates who told the court what Gouker told them about killing Trey and Detective Scott Russ, the lead detective on the case.

Dr. Beckman believes that Trey was punched in the left eye and fell back and then received other injuries. She thought he was beaten with a rod-type object.

One inmate declined to answer questions and was held in contempt of court.

Another inmate, Paul Embry, said that Gouker told him that he killed Trey to get even with Trey’s mother for killing Gouker’s child.

A third inmate told the court that Gouker thought Joshua Young was a “demon child.”

Trey Zwicker was killed on May 11, 2011. His body was found behind Liberty High School. When Josh Gouker pled guilty to the murder, he told the judge that he “lost it” and beat Trey with a metal pipe. He just “snapped…before I knew it, it was over.” He told the judge that he hid the murder weapon and bloody clothes behind a Mexican restaurant.

The trial will resume on Wednesday.

37 thoughts on “The Joshua Young Trial

  1. Linda K

    This trial is unlike anything I’ve ever watched for a number of reasons.

    1) In opening statements, the Prosecutor confessed to the jury that she didn’t have the murder weapon, didn’t know what the murder weapon was (maybe a baseball bat? maybe a metal pipe?), and had no idea what some of her witnesses were going to say because they’d told so many lies. She then suggested to the jury she was not trying to hide anything from them — that she just wanted everything on the table.

    2) Like Arizona, Kentucky allows juror questions. I’ve been unimpressed by the quantity and quality of these questions.

    3) Another interesting thing is that the Judge makes his own objections, not waiting for attorneys to do so.

    4) There are still two suspects in the commission of the murder of 14-year-old Trey Zwicker: (1) his step-father and career criminal, Joshua Gouker and (2) his step-brother (Gouker’s son), Joshua Young. Gouker and Young both confessed at times to having committed the murder but Gouker eventually plead guilty of the charges and claimed he acted alone. After incarceration, he told other inmates it was his son, Young, who did it. Gouker is currently serving a life sentence for the murder.

    5) Joshua Young also made statements against interest that he had killed Trey Zwicker. The State has him on trial for complicity… the only thing they seem to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that he disposed of evidence with the help of his father’s cousin, Cassie. The evidence was never recovered.

    6) A defense witness was taken out of order, in the middle of the State’s case, due to scheduling issues. This witness testified to having been kidnapped by Gouker, Young and a female friend. She stated Gouker claimed he was “on the run” for having “hurt someone” in order to kidnap his son (Young) from a bad situation.

    Last but not least, I have no idea yet what the jury is going to believe — I don’t even know what I believe — but I’m leaning toward the theory that both Gouker and Young conspired to kill Zwicker and both participated in the murder. That said, so much of the testimony has been conflicting and delivered from the mouths of persons with little or no credibility (in my opinion) that the truth will probably never be known. The Defense theory seems to be that Young was manipulated by Gouker… as if this absolves him of any and all responsibility for his involvement. In a police interview, Young praises his father.

    I’m looking foward to closing arguments.

    1. Uppity

      I think a lot of people are being snockered by Josh Young because of his age. I would bet a dollar to a donut that he is not the calm, angelic ‘boy” he is presenting to be. My visceral reaction to him is strong. I believe he is a bad seed. Just like his Daddy before him. Ask any High School teacher if they have seen some like him before — and they will tell you they have the same reaction to him. His father is a monster and he isn’t not far behind. He knows how to work people, I think he worked his foster family too. Then, when nobody was looking, Josh Young was someone else. His father is locked up and made the world became a little safer when that happened. But I do not think the world is a safer place with Josh Young in it either. Watch him without the noise of the “that poor boy” crowd. Carefully. And you will See. That is all.

      1. Linda K

        I’m glad you said that because I had the same reaction to the kid. Can’t put my finger on it, exactly, but he unnerves me. And I seriously wonder about the foster parents who seem to speak so highly of him.

      2. Penny

        I agree Uppity. He only has a baby face don’t let that fool you. Still think he is the one that did the killing out of jealousy. He did not want another kid in his dads life. Dad was taping sex with Trey’s mom when the crime went down. Once babyface is let off Josh the jerk will pull out the sex tape and use that for a time line. Amanda did say they had sex twice that night. YUK

    2. Tracy

      Linda, This is indeed the weirdest trial I’ve ever seen. The cast of characters alone is mind boggling – everyone is related to everyone in some form or fashion. Trey’s mother, Amanda, displayed no emotion while on the stand, just bizarre.

      I believe the woman who was allegedly kidnapped was the most “normal” and “credible” witness of the case so far – besides the few professionals who testified. Did you hear they made that woman, who is disabled, ride a bus for 15 hours to testify in the trial!

      I’m not sure the jury will be able to convict Josh Young. Everyone is lying, some of the witnesses made deals with the state to avoid prosecution themselves. You’re right, I don’t believe we will ever know the truth.

      I personally believe that Josh Young was let down by 1) his family, obviously and 2) the system – Gouker shouldn’t have been walking the streets let alone been given custody of Josh. Big fail! His only chance was with his foster family.

      I do believe Josh Young was manipulated by Gouker, he seemed to idolize his dad. That doesn’t excuse his participation, whatever it may have been.

      Sad case!

      1. Linda K

        I don’t buy the manipulation argument. Judging from what Young said in the police interview, he was perfectly happy with his miscreant father. Ew!

        1. nance

          How does this Josh Young look so young? He looks like a 10 year old. It is very strange. His plump cheeks and youthful looks make him look so innocent. Have the defense attorneys been able to make him look like this? I know the sweater vest help the innocent good boy look. I notice even his hands look ….. feminine almost. I have to say he gives me the creeps. I wonder if the dad gave him orders to kill the murdered kid and Josh Young is clearly mesmerized by the father – another instance of a person who has that seductive quality. Isn’t there pictures from the store showing that the dad had on the same clothes and that those clothes should have been bloody at that time?

          1. Penny

            Yes he was wearing the same clothes the next morning. My take is I think little Josh was jealous of Trey so he killed him. Father is covering for him as he made a sex tape with Trey’s mom at the time of the murder. That’s his paper trail. He will use that to get himself off after his son is found innocent. Only one try for murder after that it’s over.

          2. Linda K

            Well, he is only 17 and some that age do look younger than others. But I can’t look at him and see the “baby face” that the talking heads ascribe to him. I think perhaps he does idolize his father and wants to be just like him. Not good!

            Gouker’s clothing is interesting, but I don’t think it’s definitive proof of much (unless I’ve missed something in the testimony). The time of death for Trey was estimated by stomach contents — 1-4 hours after his last meal. The question is, when was his last meal? I don’t think that evidence has been shown.

            Assuming Gouker didn’t change clothes from one day to the next, then we would have to assume he either (a) didn’t kill Trey, (b) was present but not close enough to get blood on him or (c) has two of the same jerseys. If he didn’t kill Trey, then Josh Young did — presenting a whole host of legal issues for the future. Note that Young is not on trial for the murder of Trey so I’d assume he could be tried later if the facts proved that he was the actual perp.

          3. Penny

            I’ll bet father was there and egging him on. I still think it was baby face who killed Trey. Came from jealousy. He didn’t want anyone near his creep of a dad.

    3. Penny

      My take on it – Little Josh has a baby face but if you look at his eyes they tell another story. I feel Little Josh did the killing as he did not want his father to have any other kid in his life. Motive jealousy. I’m not sure that big Josh was there. Know he was doing a sex tape with Amanda supposedly at the same time Trey was killed. Amanda did say they had sex twice that night. If little Josh gets off father has a time ling with the tape and that is when he will use it. He only has to prove he wasn’t there at the time. Sure it must have the time and date. I think that is why dad is so cocky. I’m sure he knew wht was going on and maybe told his son to do it. Tomorrow should be interesting if they come to a verdict.

  2. nance

    I started watching it a little a couple of days ago since HLN isn’t showing the Andrea Sneiderman trial. I kept turning the TV on to see if they were going to show the Andrea Sneiderman trial. Unfortunately they aren’t so I am very disgusted with HLN after teasing us about that trial and now they don’t show it. As far as the Young trial, it seems to be totally confusing. I suspect the kid is involved in the murder. I do not believe he is the little choirboy looking kid that his attorneys have him dressed up to portray. The older Josh is beyond disgusting. The mother of the murdered boy, in my opinion, should be looked at as far as removing any other children from her home. She should be held responsible for letting men like the older Josh be in her home. I would like to hear you, Dr. R., speak about women who have these types of men in their beds and have no consideration about the possibility of danger to their children. They seriously don’t care about the potential dangers to the children. What is wrong with those mothers? I think lots of people in this case are not at all mature or responsible. It is a really horrible lifestyle where children are at risk. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

  3. NERN

    Josh Gouker is a mean, manipulating man with no soul. He calls his son a demon child and when asked if he loved his son, he stated I don’t know him to say I love him.
    Josh Young was doing very well in his foster family. His father came and got him and moved him out of this good environment. Given that he is mean, demanding and a career criminal, I believe that Josh Young wanted to please his father (someone who he had wanted love from for most of his life), did not want him angry at him in any way and stated that he loved him more than anyone and being with him was better than being anywhere else.
    I believe that Josh Young said he killed Trey to impress his father when in fact all he did was get rid of evidence.
    Josh Gouker doesn’t give a rat’s behind about his son or anyone else. Said his son killed Trey cause he thought he would get off and his son would be charged as a young offender. When he saw this would not be the case, and he was a repeat offender, he decided to just tell the truth – finally – that he killed Trey. Makes no difference really to him.
    Josh Young was manipulated by his father and out of his needs, Josh Young implicated himself. He covered up afterwards but Josh Gouker did the deed.
    that is my take to this point.

  4. Penny

    He will get his son off then turn around and use the sex tapes with that time line on it to get himself off. Can’t be tried twice for murder. He is not stupid.

    1. nance

      Don, I am so glad you asked about the third David Camm trial. That is a case that I have also been very interested in. What are your thoughts on his guilt or innocence? I hope Dr. Randle speaks to this.

        1. nance

          Nern, I can’t really update. I suggest that you google the David Camm murder trial. It was on 48 hours a few years ago. He has had two trials already. It is a very interesting case. There is another guy who is convicted of murdering David’s wife and two children also. Or google 48 hours and put in David Camm murder trial. I want to see the third trial if it is on the TV.

          1. NERN

            WOW – the Camm case is really messed up!!!! I hope that he gets aother trial and some honest people are involved this time.

      1. Linda K

        Nance, I hadn’t heard of this case until now. I cranked up Google on it and WOW! First, I find it interesting the murders occurred in Georgetown, IN… one of my ancestral home towns. From what I’ve read so far, we have what looks to be some criminal prosecutorial misconduct going on and the State Supreme Court saw fit to throw out the first two convictions… and the original prosecutor has been removed from the case. I’m thinking David Camm is not guilty.

        1. nance

          Linda K, once again we will agree to disagree. I am thinking he is guilty. I have done a lot of reading on this case too and I will have to re-new the facts because I have forgotten to much. Yes, it is an iffy case. But my guts tell me he wanted them killed and if you read further, you will see that the medical examiner who did the autopsy found that the little girl had been recently sexually abused. One theory is that the wife was going to leave him (again) because she might have found out about the sexual abuse of the little girl. If you get a chance to watch the two hour special 48 Hours program and sometimes it will be on one of the channels like ID or one of those types of channels, be sure to DVR it and listen to all the various evidence and facts. It is a very interesting case. Apparently his family is very well to do and have put out a lot of money to bring these overturned convictions. The first trial, if I remember correctly, did not have the second guy or even know about the second guy. Anyway, I like when you respond and it is always very interesting hearing your very intelligent thoughts. And this is another case that I have found fascinating. I don’t know why. But some cases are simply fascinating to my poor brain. We’ll see what happens in the third trial. If I see the 48 Hours show coming up, I will be sure to notify you, okay?

          1. NERN

            From what I have read, no actual words “sexually abused” were used but rather the word “trauma” was used. Regardless, there are blatant, severe errors that were made by the investigating officers, so-called experts and the prosecution – in both trials. the man deserves a fair and honest bunch of people reviewing ALL evidence and if they cannot find the evidence, then find out why. Relying on a criminal, who yes, was convicted, is utterly wrong. the outcome may be the same but at least a fair trial could be done.

          2. nance

            Great post, Linda K and I apologize for not typing too instead of to. I hate that but I obviously typed to when it should have been too. Okay. Here are some of the things that the police came up with: Blood evidence – on Camm’s shoe, Kim’s blood that was smeared but very likely was blood splatter, 2) on his T-shirt, Jill’s high velocity blood spray, 3) a very small amount of flesh lodged into the weave of Camm’s T-shirt, yet this flesh was not given a DNA test, I don’t know why, 4) Camm’s semen found near what ‘appeared’ to be either Jill’s vaginal secretions or saliva, 5) hundreds of thousands of dollars of insurance policies David had taken out recently on the murdered family, one only two months before the murders. These are only a few pieces of evidence that were discovered. Strangely, the police suspected him very early on because of the evidence, lack of evidence, etc., because of his story to them. The police have to consider this type of evidence to try to come up with a perpetrator. And I forget where the sweatshirt that belonged to Boney was found at the murder scene or in the house. One theory is that Camm bought an untraceable gun from Boney and got him to help him with the clean-up. Of course that is only a theory and I think this is a story Boney told the police and I think also that Boney said they met somewhere where Boney was playing basketball. But Boney’s then girlfriend remembers Boney coming home that night of the murders all excited telling her that he just helped a friend kill his family. I don’t know the law like you do and tend to rely on my gut and my gut tells me Camm wanted his family killed. And that is fine because I am not sitting on the jury but find these things so interesting for some strange odd reason that I can’t explain. But the evidence I have just now written about tell me that of course the cops would be looking at Camm. And Camm was working for law enforcement shortly before the murders and possibly knew about Boney’s recent release from prison and knew his reputation. Now I expect a come-back from you that blood evidence is unreliable, that life insurance isn’t a reason, that because Camm screwed around lots (and really, lots) doesn’t mean he murdered his family. And these things are true, I suppose, but these are things that make the police take notice. They can’t help it. They have to look at all sorts of things. And I did see on the 48 Hours show where one of Camm’s girlfriends told about what fun he was and how they had a hot sexual relationship and how he had told her he wasn’t married and when she found out he was married and broke up with him, he was so furious and was screaming at her that it scared her. In other words, he showed her a side of himself that suggested possible violence in her mind. He also wanted to know who told her about him being married, possibly to retaliate? I don’t know, but this woman appeared at that point to have become afraid of him because of his intense anger. Anyway. I think he did it. Law or no law. At least he has been in prison for a while. If he is found not guilty during the third trial, at least he has paid a certain amount of his life.

          3. NERN

            I am ignorant of the entire facts in this case. I DO believe, given what I have read, that a fair, concise trial is warranted. Too many discrepancies and poor actions by many in the first two trials. Only then can guilt be assigned to the perpetrator of this horrendous crime.

          4. Linda K

            Nance, I only did a cursory search on the case. What I read was that the prosecution theory was not substantiated on several points by any evidence…

            (1) There was no evidence Camm sexually abused his daughter (although the autopsy did show that she had been sexually assaulted just prior to her death). The Supremes cited this lack of evidence connecting the assault to the murder as grounds to vacate.

            (2) There didn’t seem to be any evidence to support the allegation the wife was planning to get a divorce. Witness testimony from friends and family was that the wife didn’t report any marital issues to them. From what I read, it seems the Prosecution assumed this was the case based on #1 above (what wife wouldn’t seek a divorce if the husband was found to have sexually abused their child).

            (3) Only 3 small specks of blood on Camm’s shirt (he admitted to touching all the bodies after discovering them) — according to the Prosecution experts they were high-velocity impact spatter; according to the Defense experts they were transfer.

            (4) A lab tech testified she was threatened by a DA to conform her testimony to the Prosecution’s theory.

            I’ll try to find the 48 Hours show…

          5. nance

            Linda K, I am so sorry but I apparently answered to you just now and it was from Nerm! Clearly I would not make a very good attorney. Not to mention 2 or 3 glasses of red wine!!!! Anyway, it is my understanding that when Camm was first interviewed by police, he told only about trying to give help to his son and didn’t tell about touching the other two bodies. That story maybe changed later down the line. And his first interviews were what made his story seem implausible to the police. Also one crime scene person said the murder scene looked ‘cleaned up’ which made him wonder what was going on as well and Boney had a foot fetish and left Kim’s shoes neatly arranged on top of the vehicle for one thing and this was found out later after they actually discovered Boney. Anyway, sorry that I thought I was replying to you but it was Nerm’s posting.

          6. Linda K

            P.S. Nance, thanks for the kind words! As much fun as it is to preach to the choir, I also enjoy civil discussion of opposing opinions such as you and I have on occasion. You and Brigid keep me thinking! :)

          7. nance

            Linda K, I enjoy it also and I really appreciate your takes on these things. I admit I have a problem ‘feeling’ that a person is guilty and for some reason, I really want the murder to pay for the murder, and it is too late for me to change now. I find it distressing that a murderer gets away scot free and people rejolce about it. Anyway read up on the Camm case when you get a few minutes because it is an extraordinary case with the two trials so far. And it is my pleasure to read your comments.

        1. nance

          A man was convicted twice of murdering his wife and two children and there will be a third trial at some point. Google it.

      2. Don Osborne

        Nance, this is one of the most intriguing and extraordinary murder cases I have ever come across. My interest in it was aroused through the 48 Hours program but there is a very interesting book written on it by John Glatt entitled “One Deadly Night” – a very good read, but written before much of the controversy came to light with the subsequent finding of guilty of murder of Camm’s family against Charles Boney.
        I still have an open mind as to the culpability of Camm and am just hoping Dr K. will see fit to follow the case through as I’m sure it would stimulate much discussion on this blog.
        Actually, I would like to think Camm played no part in this murder as originally I thought him wrongfully convicted based on the evidence. He has served several years imprisonment to date. Not long ago, he gave an interview on a station I can’t recall the name of for the moment – I think it was WIKY, or some name like that ( I’ll look it up again shortly ) which was quite interesting. Up to this point he has refrained from going public with interviews – unlike our beloved Jodi.
        The original prosecutor, to my mind, has been highly questionable to say the least, but he has now been replaced, I believe. I also believe Camm has been convicted on the basis of his philandering rather than any convincing evidence as to his involvement.

        1. nance

          Don, thanks for telling me about the book. In your opinion, do you think the book is open-minded and gives actual facts? I will have to google this book. You might be right about him being convicted for being a philanderer, I don’t know because I haven’t heard any juror comments in either of the trials, and often, defense attorneys say and it is true, that just because a person has affairs doesn’t make him/her a murderer, but I do look at that as just one more piece of the pie, not that that makes the person a murderer. I don’t see anything wrong with bringing out the possible perpetrator’s lifestyle. For me, in this case, unless the blood evidence is thrown out, I have to think of the blood evidence on Camm’s clothes while considering what he told the police which shows me that his description of his movements when he found the family murdered tells a story that the blood evidence shouldn’t have been on him in the way it was. Anyway, I had just told about the one woman who became afraid of Camm to show his potential anger, not that because he screwed around, that makes him a murderer. Also the autopsy of the little daughter (which overturned the first conviction) was a flag and it is true there is no evidence other than the dna stuff in the home where his semen and the child’s vaginal secretions/or saliva were found together allegedly. There were several things that make me think Camm either did the murders or set the murders up, not because he was a womanizer but that is part of the play. The death scene evidence is part of what the police have to go on to help them figure out what happened. In my opinion. Like I say, I am not sitting on the jury, so I am allowed to use my ‘open’ mind, whereas the jury doesn’t always get told lots of the facts/evidence. That’s my story and I am sticking to it! I am now remembering the 48 Hours show that did show several women who were witnesses (shouldn’t have been allowed according to some thoughts because it might prejudice the jury) who said he was one of those guys who are always trying to get women into bed. That makes me think of the mayor of San Diego who has been in the news recently where several women have complained about his inappropriate sexual advances. It actually does make me see that guy’s face and think yuk. Men who are like that are pretty creepy. In my opinion. But it certainly doesn’t make them murderers. And I agree with you that I hope Dr. R will study this Camm case and start some of her own postings. l love that we can talk about these cases and thanks for telling about the book.

          1. Don Osborne

            Nance, it was some years ago now since I read the book, but yes it was a factually accurate and unbiased account up to the time of writing. However, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since it was written.
            There is much controversy over the blood transfer you speak about which I believe is ongoing as to reliable DNA testing methods. It is my understanding that there was never a suggestion of semen anywhere, just the little girl’s DNA being found in the parents’ bed, which I am sure would be found in most parents’ beds. The girl’s injuries were consistent with her injuring herself by accident as much as anything else.
            I wouldn’t be condemning Camm on any of those points you raised.

          2. nance

            Well, good for you for not condemning Camm on the points I mentioned. While I won’t say I am condemning Camm on these points, I am seriously considering them and others and putting them all together and I think the cops got it right to arrest him for the murders. I sometimes wish I could be like you and others and not consider all the points. But that probably won’t happen. Coincidences could happen and fall into place and some unlucky innocent person could be arrested for murders and this probably does happen occasionally. I hope I’m not wrong in this case, but I won’t feel guilty because I didn’t actually sit on the trial. I have sat on a couple of juries as a young person and felt a huge responsibility and actually didn’t let my personal feelings and beliefs get in the way. Yay!

  5. Linda K

    To Nance’s post here

    Thanks for all the great info! I’m going to hold off on further discussion of the Camm case in this thread because it’s so off-topic but it really interests me on several levels and you obviously have a lot more details than I do. For clarification, I don’t know if he’s guilty or not…

    Most of us have those “gut instincts” and they should be noted. But what I find challenging is to keep the mind open in spite of them. Not every accused person is guilty of the crime(s) charged (either in a literal or legal sense). In the Camm case, when not one but two convictions are overturned and a third trial is sought… well… something smells a bit like a decomposing cow on the railroad tracks. That makes my “gut” quite queasy.

  6. Don Osborne

    Nance – your post @12.36am contains a lot of evidentiary material I am unaware of, so I must delve further into this extraordinary case.
    Linda K. -yours @ 10.40pm seems on the ball to me, having followed this case quite closely over the years.

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