FORT LAUDERDALE — The insanity defense takes center stage as trial begins for a Florida teenager accused in the brutal 2010 attack on a girl outside a middle school.
Defense lawyers say 17-year-old Wayne Treacy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his brother's recent suicide. Victim Josie Lou Ratley told Treacy in one of several rude text messages between them to go be with his dead brother.
Treacy faces a potential 50-year prison sentence if convicted of first-degree attempted murder for kicking and stomping Ratley outside Deerfield Beach Middle School. The attack caused permanent brain injuries.
The trial begins Monday with opening statements.
Experts say insanity defenses rarely succeed because it's hard to convince jurors a defendant couldn't tell right from wrong. There's evidence Treacy carefully planned the attack.