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Neurosurgeon Testifies In Josie Ratley Beating Trial

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Wayne Treacy in court with his attorneys on July 9th.  (CBS4)

Wayne Treacy in court with his attorneys on July 9th. (CBS4)

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The neurosurgeon who treated Josie Lou Ratley after she was severely beaten by Wayne Treacy two years ago outside her Deerfield Beach middle school was the lead off witness for the prosecution in the second day of Treacy’s trial.

Dr. Randall Powell from Broward Health Medical Center took the stand and answered questions about Ratley’s injuries.

“I physically could not put the bone back onto her head, it would not fit, the brain was swelling out,” testified Dr. Powell.

Dr. Powell said due to the extent and severity of her injuries, those assigned to her case were not optimistic about the outcome.

“I told Dr. Laspoda ‘I don’t think she’s going to make it’,” said Dr. Powell. “When people have that much swelling they usually don’t make it.”

Dr. Powell testified that the attack left Ratley with some permanent damage to both lobes of her brain.

“If you have both sides damaged you’re screwed,” said Dr. Powell, “She will have significant issues reintegrating new memories. She’s having trouble remembering new things. That’s probably going to be permanent. I doubt she will be able to complete school. She will need someone to look after her.”

josieratleynew Neurosurgeon Testifies In Josie Ratley Beating Trial

Josie Lou Ratley (Source: CBS)

As for the attack itself, Dr. Powell said he’s not surprised that she doesn’t remember it.

“I can say with medical certainty, she won’t remember the day she was hurt,” said Dr. Powell. “She
probably won’t remember 99 percent of the hospitalization.”

Powell told the jury he thinks it’s a miracle that she survived.

Treacy, 17, has pleaded not guilty to the attack.

His attorney, Russell Williams, said he plans to use insanity as a defense.

Treacy attacked Ratley on March 17th, 2010 at the bus stop in front of Deerfield Beach Middle School after a heated exchange of text messages, according to court records. Both were 15-years old at the time.

Next on the stand was Briana Cardenas who was standing with Ratley when Treacy attacked.

“He grabbed her head and started smashing it on the floor,” testified Cardenas.

“What was Josie doing,” asked the prosecutor.

“She was unconscious,” said Cardenas. “After that he got up and started kicking her. He was standing over her, he started kicking the back of her head, neck. He just kicked, like you’d kick a soccer ball.”

Treacy has reportedly admitted that he rode a bike to the school to confront Ratley after receiving a text message from her phone telling him to “go visit” his dead brother. Treacy’s older brother was found dead hanging from a tree in front of a church five months earlier.

Williams said Treacy was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the suicide of his brother and needs mental health treatment, not prison time.

“Wayne had a mental disease or infirmity that he did not know right from wrong,” said Williams in his opening statement on Monday.

Treacy has said he only went to the school to yell at her but lost control when he saw her standing there.

Prosecutors maintain Treacy planned the attack, even sending text message to numerous friends beforehand, saying he would be going to jail for killing some.

William Luft was one of Treacy’s best friends. On the stand Monday, he recounted the text he received. He said when Treacy said he was going to kill someone, Luft asked how.

He said Treacy responded, “I would snap her neck and stomp her skull, fastest way I can think of.”

Ratley suffered irreversible brain damage from the attack and has no memory of the incident or the text message exchange that instigated it.

If convicted of attempted first-degree murder, Treacy could get up to 50 years in prison.

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