Witnesses describe teen's beating

Doctor calls girl's survival a miracle

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Teenage witnesses testified Tuesday that Wayne Treacy was "banging" Josie Lou Ratley's head and then began "stomping" it in an attack that left the teenage girl with permanent brain damage.

Tuesday was the second day of testimony in the trial of Treacy, who is accused of attempted first-degree murder in March 2010 beating of Ratley, then 15. Prosecutors claim Treacy targeted Ratley over some text messages that seemed to make light of his brother's suicide. The defense claims that Treacy was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the attack.

Most of the witnesses called by prosecutors Tuesday were between 14 and 16 years old, and they described what they saw on the day Ratley was attacked. The defense did not contest what happened, but just contested why.

"His hands was on her head, and he was repeatedly banging it, then switched positions, getting up and taking his feet and stomping her head," one girl testified. 

When asked how many times she thought Treacy banged Ratley's head against the concrete, the girl said, "Maybe five, maybe five times, maybe even more."

"He was standing over her and started kicking, like, the back of her head, around her neck," said another girl.

"Then (he) start getting her head and getting shove, like, banging it (on) the concrete," said a third girl.

"How was he kicking her? Can you describe that for us?" the prosecutor asked a boy on the stand. 

"I guess like a swing kick to the back of the head," he said.

The prosecutor showed the martial arts-type gloves she said Treacy wore at the time of the attack, as well as the steel-toed boots she said he used to kick Ratley in the head.

The neurosurgeon who treated Ratley on the night of the attack also testified. He said Ratley had damage to both lobes of her brain, and that it was a miracle that she survived. He said Ratley will never be able to be on her own or go back to school, and she will always need someone to help take care of her.

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