By Rachel Galvin
The incident took place two years ago, on March 17, 2010, but the consequences have reverberated and affected the entire community.
It was then that Deerfield Beach High Schooler Wayne Treacy and Deerfield Beach Middle Schooler Josie Lou Ratley shot barbs at each other via text messages, leading to Treacy attacking Ratley in person.
The trouble began when Treacy’s girlfriend, Kayla Mason, two years his junior, asked to use her friend Josie’s phone to text him. At some point later, after returning it, Treacy sent another text to Mason, but now the phone was in Ratley’s possession. Ratley did not agree with the relationship between them and began to tell Treacy just how much she disapproved. The conversation became heated back and forth. The final
straw was a comment she made about his brother, who committed suicide Oct. 10, 2009. Treacy set out to find Ratley, whom he had never met. When he arrived at DBMS, Mason pointed her friend out. Treacy, enraged, proceeded to attack Ratley at the bus stop, to kick her about the neck and head with his steel-toed boots even after she was unconscious. The incident landed Ratley in critical condition, in a coma at Broward General Medical Center, and landed Treacy in jail. While Treacy dealt with the repercussions on his end, Ratley fought for her life and the community rallied to support her, throwing walks, bike rides and other events to generate money to help fund her care.
Treacy’s lawyer, Russell Williams, argued that Treacy was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after his brother’s suicide and that he was insane. The jury thought otherwise and proclaimed Treacy guilty of first-degree attempted murder. He faces up to 50 years in prison.
Williams said he is “physically and mentally drained” following the verdict and plans to appeal. He feels a key piece of evidence that was not allowed hurt his case.
“I am disappointed [in the verdict,] but I respect the jury. Exclusion of the interrogation video 2½ hours after [Treacy was brought in] is a key piece of evidence. It showed his state of mind at the time.
I am hoping the appellate court sees how the exclusion of the tape was critical in my defense. Everyone agrees he has mental illness. But the jury didn’t agree with that.” Williams’ next step is the pre-sentencing interrogation report, which will be turned in by the end of August. Sentencing will be after that. He plans to file an appeal.
He also compares this case to a similar one in 2009 in which a Ft. Lauderdale woman was convicted of aggravated battery and only given 10 years in prison for using mace on a woman and stomping on her head. He plans to bring up this case on appeal and also to discuss it during sentencing.
Williams’ further intentions aside, this has been an important milestone in this case.
Ratley’s family released a statement saying, “We want to thank the jury for seeing the truth and doing justice. It is not a day to rejoice, however. This is a tragedy for all involved. Thank you to the jury for having the courage to make the right decision. It is one more step on the road to moving on with our lives as best as we can. Thank you to [prosecutor] Maria Schneider for her hard work, compassion and dedication.”
Meanwhile, although Ratley has made an amazing recovery, her life will never be the same. Once a promising young artist, now she has trouble learning the basics and remembering simple things. A neurosurgeon testified in court that she will always need someone to watch over her.
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Posted July 16, 2012
Wayne Treacy guilty of attempted first-degree murder
The case of Wayne Treacy has come to a close today as a jury decided his fate. He now faces up to 50 years for his brutal attack of Josie Lou Ratley on March 17, 2010. It was a back and forth of hateful emails that stemmed this confrontation of two strangers — a middle schooler (Ratley) and a high schooler (Treacy), When Ratley mentioned Treacy’s dead brother, who died several months prior after committing suicide, Treacy tracker her down and proceeded to kick Ratley repeatedly on the head and neck with steel-toed boots, landing her in the hospital unconscious and landing him in jail.
In the courtroom, Treacy’s defense attorney argued that he was insane, affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his brother’s suicide. But the jury sided with the prosecution.
This is a tragic tale that has lasted two years in the courts and affected an entire community, who rallied for Josie with walks, bike rides and other events to support her in her battle to survive the attack. Today, she survives, but will never be the same, and, although this case has come to a close, the families of these two teenagers will forever be affected by the drama that began back in 2010. More information and details on the case will be found in this week’s Observer.