Wayne Treacy Sentenced to 20 Years for Beating of Josie Lou Ratley

Back in July, Wayne Treacy was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder after he attacked 15-year-old Josie Lou Ratley with his steel-toed boots after she taunted him by making fun of his dead brother in a text. Ratley suffered permanent brain damage after the attack.

The prosecution presented text messages from Treacy to his friends saying "he was going to kill someone and would go to prison," according to the AP.

On Monday afternoon, Broward Circuit Judge David A. Haimes sentenced Treacy to 20 years in prison, followed by ten years' probation. Treacy had been facing up to 40 years in prison.

The incident happened in March 2010, when Ratley, a friend of Treacy's girlfriend, expressed her disapproval of the relationship to the then-Deerfield Beach High School freshman.

The two exchanged nasty texts, becoming abusive and insulting to each other.

During the heated exchange, Ratley sent a text to Treacy about his brother, who had committed suicide a few months before.

Treacy, who had apparently been the one to discover his brother's body, responded in a text: "I swear to god I'm gonna kill you! I'll fucking find you! Your dead meat!"

He then put on his boots and headed over to Ratley's school at Deerfield Beach Middle. His girlfriend pointer Ratley out at a bus stop. That's when Treacy attacked her.

During the trial, a neurosurgeon testified that Ratley had suffered permanent brain damage.

Judge Haimes explained that the 20-year sentencing -- rather than the 40 years requested by Ratley's family -- was in large part because Treacy had shown signs of mental health problems and was also a first-time offender.

"It's a very sad situation," Judge Haimes said. "Everyone wishes they could go back in time."

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