By Harold Hayes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The grandmother of a teenager accused in the beating and stabbing death of his 82-year-old Clairton neighbor tearfully testified Thursday.

She said she tried everything she could to correct Johnie “Trey” Washington’s behavior problems in school and that the family tried to file a petition for dependency months before the murder, hoping for intervention or even placement in a boot camp but nothing was done.

Washington is being tried as an adult, but was 15 at the time he was charged with homicide in the death of Florence Ranta in 2007.

A defense psychiatrist testified Washington told him he asked the victim, whom he barely knew, if he could borrow her car and that she called him dumb and stupid.

That, says the psychiatrist, set him off and he admitted smashing her head with a brick, then finding a knife in the kitchen to stab her and slash her throat.

The psychiatrist says given defendant’s mental state, he could not form intent to kill and had no ability to think through the crime.

Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office
Pa Court Of Common Pleas

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