FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- A south Florida teenager's trial in the brutal beating of a female middle school student is underway in Fort Lauderdale.
Wayne Treacy, 17, is accused of attacking Josie Lou Ratley outside of a middle school in 2010.
Treacy allegedly knocked the girl down and kicked her in the head multiple times, while wearing steel-toed boots, until other people could pull him away from the girl.
Ratley suffered permanent brain injuries as a result of the attack.
Defense attorneys for Treacy claimed that the attack was the result of mental illness triggered by the suicide of his brother, and are using an insanity defense based on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The defense is that Treacy was not able to tell right from wrong.
Many experts question whether that strategy will work, since it will be difficult to convince a jury that the defendant couldn't tell right from wrong.
In opening arguments, the prosecution attacked the defense immediately, claiming that Treacy was deliberate and methodical.
Prosecutors say there is ample evidence that Treacy planned the attack, including witness reports that he brought his 13-year-old girlfriend to the middle school the day of the attack, and had her point out Ratley, since he had never met not seen the victim.
Treacy is charged with attempted first degree murder and could get 50 years in prison if convicted.