Inmate: Dad called son a "demon child"
An inmate who served time with a man who pleaded guilty to killing his stepson testified Tuesday in a Kentucky court that the confessed killer was going to take the fall for his own son, who is currently on trial for complicity in the slaying.
Jason Moss said that Josh Gouker -- who was sentenced to life in prison in the beating death of Trey Zwicker, 14 -- said that his son, Joshua Young, was a "demon child" who was "more than willing" to commit the murder.
After initially pointing the finger at Young, now 17, Gouker eventually pleaded guilty to Zwicker's murder and was sentenced on July 26 to life in prison.
Young is being tried as an adult in Jefferson County Circuit Court. The charge of "complicity to murder" means prosecutors believe Young had knowledge of Gouker's plan to kill Zwicker but failed to do anything to stop it. In May 2011 high school students in Louisville found Zwicker's broken body in a ditch near their school.
Moss said he was locked up with Gouker for three months before he changed his plea to guilty in Zwicker's slaying.
"He said he was going to man up and take the blame for it, because he had an alibi. That he was going to try to get his son off, and later fight his case back in court, and just get hit with a perjury because he had an alibi," said Moss, who was wearing his orange prison jumpsuit on the stand Tuesday.
Prosecutor Erin White asked, "Did he say what the alibi was?"
"He was making a sex tape, I think, with Trey's mother. He said that Trey's mom had an abortion of his child, and that he wanted an eye for an eye, and he went to talk his son into killing Trey, and he said he didn't have to (do) much persuasion, because his son was a demon child, that he was more than willing to do it," Moss replied.
During cross-examination, Moss clarified that Gouker may have called Young a "demon seed" instead of "demon child." He also said he was a childhood friend of Trey's biological father, Terry Zwicker, and that he told Terry about Gouker's comments and offered to beat him up in prison but decided not to do it.
Earlier Tuesday, another of Gouker's fellow inmates, Paul Embry, told the court that Gouker made other statements incriminating Young.
White asked, "Josh Gouker told you that Josh Jr. got his swing from his old man?"
"Yes, ma'am," said Embry, confirming that Gouker would brag about Young's ability to swing a baseball bat.
White asked, "Do you remember Gouker telling you that both Gouker and Young were present at the murder?"
"Yes, ma'am," said Embry.
White asked, "Did Gouker specifically tell you that the motivation for the murder stemmed from (his wife's) abortion? I am sorry, his wife's abortion of his child?"
"Not at first, no; it come up later," said Embry.
White asked, "At some point, did he tell you that was the motivation for the murder?"
"Yes ma'am. He said they would be even," said Embry.
Before Embry took the stand, prosecutors called the boyfriend of one of Young's cousins to the stand, John Robertson.
Robertson told the jurors that he owned a prized 1980 Louisville Slugger that Young took from him. He said Young told him he beat Zwicker with it.
"He told me that him and Trey went down to the ditch to smoke some weed. He asked him what time it was, and then he hit him with the bat," said Robertson. "That was my bat."
White asked, "How do you know that?"
"Because it was gone," Robertson said.
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