The mother of Trey Zwicker, a 14-year-old boy who was beaten to death in May 2011, testified in a Louisville, Kentucky, courtroom about events leading up to and following the death of her son.
Amanda McFarland didn't say much about how her 17-year-old stepson, Joshua Young, may have been involved in the murder of her son, but her story may help construct a timeline of what happened the night Zwicker died. Left with very little physical evidence, prosecutors will have to rely on witness accounts like McFarland's to put the details together.
Read more: Who is Joshua Young?
Young is on trial for "complicity to murder" and "complicity to tampering with physical evidence" for his alleged role in his stepbrother's death. Josh Gouker, Young's biological father and McFarland's then-husband, pleaded guilty to the murder, and was sentenced to life in prison on July 26. After initially blaming the murder on his son, Gouker confessed to the crime, claiming that he "snapped" when he confronted Zwicker about stealing from him. Gouker has since repeatedly said he acted alone and has tried to deflect any responsibility from Young.
Watch more: What happened during the window of death?
These nebulous accounts from Gouker -- as well as those from McFarland and Cassie Gouker, Josh Gouker's cousin who he was allegedly "involved with" -- are all police have to paint a picture of what happened on May 11, 2011, when Zwicker was killed. The problem, of course, is that their stories don't match up. Here's a look at what happened leading up to the murder and the inconsistencies in the key players' versions of events.
May 8, 2011
May 9, 2011
May 10, 2011
It's the events of that evening into the next morning -- the "window of death" -- where inconsistencies among the accounts really appear in full force:
|Event||Amanda McFarland's story||Josh Gouker's story|
|Trey comes out of house||
McFarland said she and Gouker were on the porch when Trey attempted to leave the house around 10 p.m. She said since it was a school night, she sent her son back to bed. That was the last time she saw her son alive.
|Gouker told the same story, that Trey tried to leave the house around 10 p.m., but then he went back inside.|
|First sexual escapade||McFarland said she went back inside and then she and Gouker had sex around 11:30 p.m.||Gouker said he and Amanda had sex around 11 p.m.|
|"Circle K"||Surveillance video shows Gouker and McFarland at a nearby "Circle K" convenience store at 1:10 a.m. (May 11). McFarland said they bought cigarettes and then went straight back home.||Surveillance video shows Gouker and McFarland at a nearby "Circle K" convenience store at 1:10 a.m. (May 11). McFarland said they bought cigarettes and then went straight back home.|
|Second sexual escapade/Fell asleep||
When the two got back to McFarland's house, she said she and Gouker were "intimate" and he recorded it on her phone.
Gouker fell asleep "a little after 1 a.m."
She fell asleep between 1:00-1:30 a.m.
McFarland testified that she could only account for Gouker's whereabouts up until she fell asleep that night, which she thought was around 1:30 a.m.
|Gouker told police after they got home from "Circle K," around 2:30 a.m. they rolled a blunt, smoked half of it, then fell asleep.|
Cassie Gouker's story
|Joshua Young admits to killing Trey Zwicker||Gouker's cousin Cassie Gouker told police she was woken up by Joshua Young around 2:30 a.m. saying, "I killed Trey, I killed Trey...get up you have to help me get rid of this stuff."|
|Joshua Young disposed of bag & bat||Took Young to a dumpster where he threw out a plastic bag and a bloody bat (which were never found by police).|
May 11, 2011