Judge issues gag order in Deerfield school beating - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Judge issues gag order in Deerfield school beating

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL (AP) - Lawyers and investigators are barred from talking publicly about the case of a brutal beating at a Broward County middle school.

Update, FRI 1 PM: Broward Circuit Judge Elijah Williams issued a temporary gag order Thursday, barring talks about the facts of the case against a 15-year-old suspect until April 6. The judge will then hear a request for a permanent order from the suspect's lawyer.

Authorities have said the teen attacked a 15-year-old girl on March 17, punching and stomping on her with steel-toed boots. The suspect is being held in a juvenile detention center on a charge of premeditated attempted murder.

The victims remains in critical condition in a hospital.

Also being held is a 13-year-old girl who investigators said was an accomplice.

UPDATE, WED 5:30 PM: A teen suspect in a brutal beating had sent text messages telling his friends of his intentions to attack a 15-year-old girl, but apparently nobody warned police.

Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti says the suspect even wrote messages to the victim saying he was going to the school to "snap" her neck at a Deerfield Beach middle school. And, although it appears several people knew about the threat, Lamberti says no one warned authorities.

The suspect is accused of punching and stomping on the girl with steel-toed boots. He's being held in a juvenile detention center on a charge of premeditated attempted murder.

Josie Lou Ratley remains in critical condition and in a medically induced coma at a hospital.

A 13-year-old girl was also arrested as an accessory to the attack.

UPDATE, WED 10 AM: The family of a severely beaten Deerfield Beach teen release pictures of the girl who remains in a coma.

Josie Lou Ratley has stitches on both sides of her head and the scars from her surgeries after being attacked at her bus stop. She remains in a medically induced coma.

Fifteen-year-old Wayne Treacy is charged with attempted murder, and a 13-year-old girl is also in custody. She's charged as an accessory.

UPDATE, MON 9:30 AM: Doctors are "feeling good" about the 15-year-old girl who endured a brutal beating at a Deerfield Beach middle school. Josie Lou Ratley remained Monday in critical condition and in a medically induced coma at a hospital.

Her family's attorney says doctors are optimistic after two surgeries to relieve pressure on her brain. Her mother told the NBC "Today Show" that her daughter didn't know the suspect. Hilda Gotay Ratley also said she knew nothing about the text message exchange authorities said triggered the attack.

The 15-year-old suspect is accused of punching and stomping on the girl with steel-toed boots. He's being held in a juvenile detention center on a charge of premeditated attempted murder. A 13-year-old girl was arrested as an accessory.

Previously: Police arrested a second teen in the brutal beating of a middle school student outside of her school. Investigators said a "texting war" between two teens sparked the vicious assault.

A 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy have been charged. Attorney Betsy Benson confirmed Thursday that her client, 15-year-old, Wayne Treacy, was being held after a judge determined there was probable cause to hold him on a charge of attempted murder. Treacy's next court date is March 26.

The Broward Sheriff's Office says Josie Lou Ratley was in critical condition. Authorities say Treacy, who attends a nearby high school, came looking for her at Deerfield Beach Middle School Wednesday. He had been texting with a friend through Ratley's cell phone. The friend allegedly said something Treacy didn't like. He rode his bike five miles to the school to find her. Authorities say Treacy punched the girl repeatedly, knocked her to the ground, kicked her and stomped on her face with steal toe boots.

Ratley lost consciousness and could not defend herself. A teacher had to pull him away from her.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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