Wayne Treacy Trial Begins | NBC 6 South Florida

Wayne Treacy Trial Begins

Teen accused of beating Josie Ratley to use insanity defense



    (Published Monday, July 9, 2012)

    The trial began Monday for a South Florida teen accused of almost beating another teenager to death outside Deerfield Beach Middle School. 

    Wayne Treacy, 17, has been charged as an adult with attempted murder in the March 17, 2010 attack on Josie Ratley at a bus stop outside the school.

    Police said Treacy sought out Ratley, who was 15 at the time, after she sent him text messages about his older brother, Michael, who had recently committed suicide.

    Ratley suffered severe brain damage in the attack and spent over 40 days at the pediatric intensive care unit at Broward General Medical Center.

    Treacy cried during prosecutor Maria Schneider's opening statements on Monday in the trial, which was attended by Ratley's mother and Treacy's parents.

    "He grabbed her head by the hair and started smashing it to the surface...kicked her head as if it were a soccer ball and stomped on it as if he was putting out a fire."

    Defense attorneys say Treacy was not in control of what he was doing at the time of the attack. They intend to use an insanity defense.

    "He was generally a nice kid, but after his brother died, things changed," said attorney Russell Williams.

    Williams said PTSD robbed the teenager of control of emotions and actions. None of Treacy's friends, who received text messages about his intent to hurt Ratley, thought he would commit the crime.

    His girlfriend at the time, Taylor Gulotta, testified about a text message she said she received from him just after the assault.

    Habersham County Sheriff Office

    "He said, 'I just tried to kill someone,'" she said in court Monday.

    Treacy has been held without bond since the attack. He faces up to 50 years behind bars if convicted.

    Meanwhile, Treacy's friend, William Luft testified that Treacy texted him that he would snap Ratley's neck and "stomp her head."