FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida teenager is blaming his near-fatal 2010 assault on a girl at a middle school on mental illness triggered by the suicide of his brother a few months earlier.
Defense lawyer Russell Williams said as trial opened Monday that 17-year-old Wayne Treacy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder that made him unable to tell right from wrong. Treacy is claiming insanity in the attack on Josie Lou Ratley, who suffered permanent brain injuries.
Williams says Treacy became enraged following a text message from Ratley telling him to be with his dead brother. The two had been exchanging series of rude and insulting texts before that.
Prosecutors say Treacy deliberately planned the attack and should be held responsible. Treacy faces a potential 50-year prison sentence if convicted of first-degree attempted murder.