Jury selection begins in teen beating case

Treacy's attorneys prepare insanity defense

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Jury selection is under way in the case of a teen who beat another, apparently over a hurtful text messages.

Wayne Treacy, now 17, is charged with attempted first-degree murder for the March 2010 attack.

More than 100 potential jurors are being asked what they have seen or heard about the case and whether they can set aside anything they might know and judge the case on the evidence they will hear during court proceedings.

The charge against Treacy is attempted first-degree murder, leading the judge to ask potential jurors whether whether they could apply the law, which does not distinguish between juveniles and adults in determining guilt or innocence.  Some admitted they would be swayed by Treacy's age.

In March 2010, Treacy, then 15, confronted and beat severely then-15-year-old Deerfield Beach Middle School student Josie Ratley at her bus stop. Court documents detailed text messages she had sent about Treacy's brother, who had committed suicide.

Ratley was kicked in the head repeatedly, causing brain damage. 

Attorneys are preparing an insanity defense.

Jury selection is scheduled to continue Thursday.

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