A jury has found 17-year-old Wayne Treacy guilty of attempted first-degree murder for using steel-toed boots to attack 15-year-old Josie Lou Ratley after she sent him a text making fun of his "dead brother."
Treacy had reportedly discovered the body of his older brother several months before the attack; he had hanged himself. The defense had argued that post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the attack had rendered Treacy insane; the jury didn't buy it. The prosecution presented text messages in which Treacy told friends "he was going to kill someone and would go to prison,"
per the AP.
He also responded to the "dead brother" text with, and sorry for the censorship: "I swear to god I'm gonna kill you! I'll [expletive] find you! Your [expletive] is cold, dead meat [expletive]!"
"He's spelling out what he's going to do. He's spelling out that he is going to jail because of it. He knows he's going to go away. He knows this is not going to end well," said Stanford psychiatrist Hans Steiner, who said the messages demonstrated Treacy knew right from wrong and simply didn't care.
Ratley suffered permanent brain damage and did not testify at the trial. Treacy faces up to 50 years in prison.