• Text message leads to steel-toed beating

    Date: 04.05.10 | by Judge Tom.

    Reportedly, 15-year-old Wayne Treacy didn’t know Josie Lou Ratley, also 15 years old but at a different school in Florida. Wayne’s ex-girlfriend, Kayla Manson, was 13 and a friend of Josie’s. Oftentimes, Josie would be the cell phone messenger for Kayla since she didn’t have her own phone.

    Wayne lived with his mother and thirty year old brother whom he looked up to. In October, 2009, Wayne found his brother hanging from a tree at a nearby church. Five months later, in March, 2010, Wayne was trying to reach Kayla through Josie’s phone. Josie didn’t approve of their relationship and after close to an hour of exchanging text messages, she made a comment to Wayne about his brother.

    Josie Ratley

    Wayne became enraged and texted a few friends that he was going to kill Josie. He went home, put on steal-toed shoes and rode his bike three miles to Deerfield Beach Middle School. He didn’t know which girl was Josie until Kayla pointed her out. He then attacked Josie, kicking her in the head repeatedly before being pulled off by a teacher. Josie was taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

    Wayne was arrested and charged with premeditated attempted murder. He will be tried as an adult and remains incarcerated until further proceedings. In January, 2011, the prosecution agreed to a cap of 50 years in prison if and when Wayne is convicted. Otherwise he could have been facing a life sentence. Trial is scheduled to begin in 2012. Kayla was also arrested and charged as an accessory to the assault. She remains in juvenile custody.

     Update: In May, 2010, Josie awoke from a medically-induced coma and was scheduled for her third brain surgery.  She is also undergoing physical, speech and occupational therapy and returned to her mother’s home in June, 2010. She has to learn even the basicsover again including colors, her ABCs, reading and writing. In January, 2011, a lawsuit was filed against the school district on Josie’s behalf alleging negligence regarding the attack. Her lawyer asserts that the incident could have been prevented with tighter security on campus.

    In December, 2010, Wayne and his lawyer filed a lawsuit against the local school board claiming he was only receiving 5 hours a week of instruction while in jail. They seek a minimum of 25 hours weekly.

    For more about education behind bars, see:  http://www.askthejudge.info/juvenile-inmates-earn-traditional-high-school-diplomas/3229/

    Trial for Wayne begins in June, 2012. Josie was brought to court earlier in the month for questioning about the case. She has no memory of the incident two years earlier. Both Josie and Wayne are now 17 years-old. On July 16, 2012, Wayne Treacy was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder after several hours of deliberation by the jury. The defense claimed that Wayne was  insane at the time of the incident but apparently the jury didn’t accept his theory. He faces a maximum of fifty years in prison when sentenced in a few months.

    Wayne Treacy

    The latest:  On October 22, 2012, Treacy was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Kayla Manson pleaded no contest and was placed on probation until age 19, given 250 hours of community service, ordered to complete a psychological evaluation and write a letter of apology to Josie.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    2 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Willie Evangelista
      Mon, 12 Apr 2010 at 06:30

      I do not condone what this child did in the assult, however we must look at what the girl stated in the text messages discussing this kids brother whom hung himself. She cannot be without fault

    • tori
      Mon, 22 Aug 2011 at 02:31

      if that teacher wouldn’t of pulled him off he probably would of killed her. he knew what he was doing. he even said “i’m gonna kill her”. He deserves anything he gets. As for what she said about his brother that was uncalled for but just because she said that doesn’t mean he has to try to kill her. He should have never put his hands on her.
      Thanks, Tori, for your thoughts.

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