Victim’s family reacts to Gouker guilty plea


by Adam Walser

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Updated Friday, May 10 at 7:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville man charged with killing his step-son pleaded guilty to the crime on Friday.

Josh Gouker admitted to killing 14-year-old Trey Zwicker in a ditch behind Liberty High School in 2011.

He says the attack happened after the teen stole his lighter.

Trey's father Terry Zwicker is relieved on Friday that Josh Gouker admitted to killing his son, even if he doesn't feel like he got all the answers as to exactly what happened that day.

Gouker has fought the charges in court until Friday, May 10, when he didn't follow the advice of his attorney and pleaded guilty.

After nearly two years of trying to beat the charges against him, Gouker entered a surprise guilty plea.

Gouker admitted to killing Zwicker, his own stepson.

He said he beat Trey to death with a pipe after Trey stole his lighter.

“I just snapped. I hit him. He went down,” Gouker told the judge. “Before I knew it, it was over. “
“I've got one of the people who need to be put in prison for the rest of their life. And we've got one more,” Terry Zwicker, Trey’s father, said.

Zwicker referred to Josh Young, Gouker's son, who's also charged with Trey's murder.

“Josh Young is just as guilty as Gouker. He was standing right there,” Zwicker said.
Initially, Gouker blamed the murder on Young.

“I said Josh, if they catch us, you just act crazy. You're a minor and you won't get no time,” Gouker said during a prison interview with WHAS11 News in August of 2012.

“He didn't have anything to do with it,” Gouker told the judge.

Even though Young still awaits trial, Gouker's plea made a good day for Zwicker, on the eve of the second anniversary of Trey's death.

“I don't anticipate ever really knowing the truth. I just anticipate justice being served. It's a slow process, but at the end of the road, I think I'm gonna be happy with what I see,” Zwicker said.

Gouker did not receive any type of agreement from the commonwealth in exchange for his plea, which means he could be sentenced to life in prison.

He'll be officially sentenced on July 29, the same day his son Josh Young is scheduled to stand trial.