Jury starts deliberating Fla. school beating case

By CURT ANDERSON | July 16, 2012 | 10:36 AM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A jury is now deliberating the guilt or innocence of a South Florida teenager accused of savagely kicking and stomping a 15-year-old girl outside a middle school.

The six-person jury went behind closed doors Monday morning following the five-day trial last week of 17-year-old Wayne Treacy.

Prosecutors are seeking a conviction for attempted first-degree murder in the March 2010 attack on Josie Lou Ratley, who suffered permanent brain injuries.

Treacy seeks acquittal by reason of insanity. Mental health experts testified that Treacy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his brother's suicide a few months before the attack.

Ratley made a reference to the brother's death in a series of increasingly insulting and vulgar text messages with Treacy.

If convicted of attempted murder, Treacy faces a maximum 50-year prison sentence.