Beaten teen Josie Lou Ratley's attorney has blasted her alleged assailtant's plan to use a temporary insanity defense in court.
The attorney for Deerfield Beach teen Wayne Treacy, who is accused of beating classmate Ratley nearly to death, will be using a temporary insanity defense at trial after a judge granted his motion during a status hearing Wednesday.
"Wayne Treacy’s latest attempt to avoid responsibility and accountability for his actions should be summarily rejected," said Ratley family attorney Sean C. Domnick.
"The [text] messages sent by Mr. Treacy indicate that he intended to kill Josie Ratley, that he acted on that intent and that he knew that what he was doing was wrong. That is not the basis for an insanity plea, but rather the basis for a criminal conviction....This does nothing but revictimize Josie. We are confident that a Broward County jury will see these claims by Treacy for what they are."
At the status hearing, attended by Treacy's parents, Broward Circuit Judge David Haimes granted Williams' request to use the insanity defense for Treacy, who has been charged as an adult with attempted murder.
"We all know he did something, we now need to know why...I don't think even he knows why," Williams said. "His cognitive ability at the time of the incident was so impaired that he could not determine right from wrong."
In the courthouse hallways after the hearing, Treacy's father let loose an expletive-filled tirade at reporters when asked for comment.
"Why don't you all take your cameras and shove them up your asses," he said.
Treacy has been behind bars since the attack on the then 15-year-old Ratley at a bus stop outside Deerfield Beach Middle School.
Police say Treacy sought out Ratley after she sent him text messages about his brother, who had recently committed suicide.
"I had always thought initially that there was some type of issue with regard to Wayne's mental health at the time, the fact that he had dressed in his brother's clothing was something that I thought was significant," Williams said.
Williams added that the text message from Ratley made her the bully initially.
The situation regarding Josie Ratley specifically was she did send that text message," Williams said. "I don't think she knew who she was dealing with, she didn't really know Wayne, Wayne didn't really know her and based upon that, I think initially, yes, she would be considered the bully because she was the one that sent the text message."
Ratley suffered severe brain damage in the attack and spent over 40 days at the pediatric intensive care unit at Broward General Medical Center.
Prosecutor Maria Schneider said Ratley was doing "amazingly better" and will be available to be deposed by the defense.
"I'm just amazed and thankful that she is doing as well as she's doing," Schneider said. "She's not 100 percent, I don't Josie will ever be 100 percent, but she's doing amazingly well."
Treacy is facing 50 years behind bars.