The trial is scheduled to start today for two men charged in the fatal stabbing and robbery of a third in Price Township.
The jury was picked Monday for Cresco residents Ian Seagraves, 19, and Shawn Freemore, 21, both charged in the February 2009 murder of U.S. Army veteran and East Stroudsburg Crime Watch member Michael Goucher, 21. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso is prosecuting the case, with Lackawanna County attorneys Joseph D’Andrea and Bill Thompson representing Seagraves and Stroudsburg attorney Robin Spishock representing Freemore.
The defendants reportedly identify themselves as Juggalos, a subculture some view as a violent gang.
Goucher was last seen on Feb. 3, 2009, after saying he was going to visit a friend, and reported missing. His body was found more than a week later in a wooded area off Stoney Run Lane, about a quarter mile from where his abandoned car had been discovered.
State police learned Goucher had met Freemore in an online chat room. The investigation led to Freemore’s and Seagraves’ arrests.
Police said Freemore later told them he and Goucher had met for sex in January 2009 and that the two had met again on the night of Feb. 3, 2009 for another tryst. Freemore said he refused Goucher’s advances, got out of the car and, when Goucher followed him, stabbed Goucher, according to police.
Further investigation uncovered a different story police believe to be the truth. According to this other story, Goucher arrived in Price Township to meet Freemore and was led by Freemore to an area where Seagraves was waiting.
Freemore and Seagraves then attacked and chased Goucher, killing him, taking items from his person and covering his body with snow in the woods. Freemore took also a DVD and small digital voice recorder, on which the defendants allegedly later taped themselves talking about the murder, from Goucher’s car.
Other evidence includes poems, which police believe likewise detail Goucher’s murder, found in notebooks taken from Freemore’s car.
Some Juggalos and Juggalettes prefer violent rock and rap songs by groups such as Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid, which contain some lyrics about stabbing people in the throat, according to pre-trial testimony. Seagraves’ MySpace nickname was “Throwt Stabba.”
The Juggalo emblem is a man running with a meat cleaver in his hand. Police said a meat cleaver and knife were found near Goucher’s body.
The trial is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. today before county President Judge Ronald Vican.