Prosecutor: Beating suspect 'morally, legally responsible'

Jury to begin deliberations Monday

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A prosecutor asked the jury in the Wayne Treacy case Friday not to buy the defense's claim that he was insane when he beat Josie Lou Ratley, leaving her with permanent brain damage.

The prosecution and the defense gave their closing arguments in the attempted murder trial Friday afternoon. Neither disputed that Treacy beat Ratley outside Deerfield Beach Middle School on March 17, 2010, but they disputed why.

"Josie Ratley will not be normal ever again," said prosecutor Maria Schneider. "Her life changed forever because of the viciousness of this young man."

The prosecutor pulled on jurors' heartstrings, asking them not to believe that Treacy was insane at the time of the attack. Investigators said Treacy beat Ratley after she sent him a text message making light of his brother's recent suicide.

"There are millions and millions and millions of people who suffer from mental illnesses, and they don't kill people. They don't try to kill people," Schneider said.

Treacy is accused of throwing Ratley to the ground, slamming her head against the concrete and kicking her in the head with steel-toed boots. She has permanent brain damage.

"The facts are the facts, and you can't ignore them. The defendant is morally and legally responsible for his actions and should be held accountable," Schneider said.

But, Treacy's attorneys insisted he was insane at the time of the attack.

"What happened to Josie Ratley is awful," said Treacy's attorney, Russell Williams. "The problem is, is that she did not know what she was doing on that day. She did not know that the person she was picking on was the person that was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder because he saw his brother hanging from a tree when he was 15 years old."

The jury was sent home for the weekend and will return to begin deliberations Monday morning.

If convicted, Treacy faces 50 years in prison.

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