Judge denies bond reduction for teen charged in stepbrother's murder
A Jefferson Circuit Court judge on Friday denied a motion to reduce the bond of a a 16-year-old charged with murdering his stepbrother.
Defense attorneys had asked that Joshua Young, who is lodged in the Louisville juvenile detention center under a $100,000 bond, be released to foster care or a secure residential center for children while awaiting his Oct. 16 trial.
In January, a social worker testified that Joshua has been unable to get the mental health treatment and full education he needs and has a family he previously lived with willing to take him in despite the teen being accused of fatally beating Trey Zwicker, 14, on May 11, 2011.
Judge Barry Willett denied that request without explanation Friday, saying a written ruling would be issued at a later date.
Ruby Jessie, Joshua’s grandmother, told reporters after the ruling that she had told her grandson recently not to get his hopes up about being released before his trial date.
“He is doing ok,” she said. “He is holding his own but looking forward to October.”
Trey's father, Terry Zwicker, said he was pleased with the ruling.
According to court records, Joshua blames his father, Joshua Gouker, for the murder. Gouker has not been charged.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown had objected to releasing Joshua to a foster family, arguing that his bond was appropriate for such a "brutal murder.”
According to evidence, Gouker said his son admitted sneaking out with his stepbrother and, without warning, striking the boy in the head with a baseball bat, bludgeoning him at least 15 times before leaving him to die in a creek bed behind Liberty High School off East Indian Trail near Preston Highway.
Joshua is being tried as an adult in Jefferson Circuit Court, but his attorneys are still trying to have the case moved to juvenile court.
Reporter Jason Riley can be reached at 584-2197