LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A woman took the stand late Friday afternoon in 17-year-old Joshua Young’s trial and told jurors Young had confessed to killing his step-brother.
Jahaira Friend said she was held captive by Young and his father, Josh Gouker, and was forced to ride with the pair to Alabama after Trey Zwicker’s murder. She said Young scared her just as much as his father did.
According to the witness, this apparently terrifying road trip took place just a month or so after Trey Zwicker was killed. It started in Louisville and ended with the police getting involved in Alabama.
On the trip, Friend said Young made a shocking confession. “Josh Gouker had asked me if I knew who killed Trey and I said no. And he said, ‘Little Josh did.’ And I looked at Little Josh and I said, ‘You killed Trey?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’”
Friend said she knew Young and Gouker through another woman. She claimed they forced her at gunpoint on the trip down to Birmingham. Gouker usually had the gun, but she said Young scared her just as much. She said they forced another woman, a stranger, to drive them to Alabama and when Gouker let the woman go, she said Young got mad.
But, when the defense took over questioning, the attorney for Josh Young immediately began to pick that testimony apart, using Friend’s own words to detectives back in 2011 against her.
According to a police report, Friend told detectives that the whole trip was “a blur.” That she didn’t remember who said what and when, when the men were talking about killing Trey Zwicker.
Earlier in the day, a former Kentucky medical examiner, now medical expert for the defense, George Nichols took the stand. Josh Young was comforted by a woman at the defense table while graphic pictures of Trey Zwicker’s body were shown. Nichols said they were necessary for the jury to understand the brutality of the attack.
He also described what he believed the weapon looked like. “It was linear,” he explained, “rod like and violently applied to the back of this young man’s head.” Although he said the injuries were not, in his opinion, caused by a baseball bat.
Nichols also testified that based on the injuries, it’s likely only one person delivered the deadly blows to the back of Zwicker’s head.
Josh Gouker, Young’s father, is serving a life sentence for Trey Zwicker’s murder. He is expected to take the stand at some point during Young’s trial. Testimony will resume on Monday morning.