Yesterday, a Wisconsin state appeals court ruled that Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, both 14, should be tried as adults for the May 2014 stabbing of a classmate. Weier and Geyser, who were 12 at the time of the crime, are accused of luring fellow sixth grader Payton Leutner into the woods and stabbing her 19 times, leaving her for dead. The girls were reportedly trying to please a fictional horror character/internet meme named Slender Man, known within online subcultures for stalking and torturing people, especially children.
Leutner thankfully survived by crawling to the road and flagging down a passerby. When police picked up Weier and Geyser later that day, they were walking on the outskirts of Waukesha, and reportedly said they were making the 300-mile journey to Slender Man’s house located in a national forest, where they hoped to live as his servants.
Weier and Geyser have been in custody ever since they were charged with first-degree attempted homicide; in Wisconsin, anyone over the age of 10 is considered an adult when facing such serious charges. However, their defense attorneys argued that they should be tried in juvenile court, saying that they both suffer from mental illness and won’t get proper treatment in adult prison. Multiple psychiatrists testified at the hearing, telling the judge that one of the girls has schizophrenia and an oppositional defiant disorder which requires long-term mental health treatment, while the other has a delusional disorder and a condition known as schizotypy which made her particularly susceptible to believing in Slender Man.
But the Court of Appeals disagreed, and said that it was reasonable for both Weier and Geyser to be tried as adults, citing the fact that if they were convicted in juvenile court, they would be released when they turned 18. The Court also cited the violent nature of the crime and the evidence which suggests it was planned in advance as additional reasons for why they should be tried as adults. Their attorneys could appeal the ruling to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which would further delay trial proceedings.
Photos: Waukesha Police Department