Wisconsin girl reaches plea deal in Slender Man case
WAUKESHA, WIS. — The second of two Wisconsin girls charged with repeatedly stabbing a classmate to impress horror character Slender Man will plead guilty in a deal that will send her to a state mental hospital and bring an end a case that shocked people in part because the attackers were only 12.
The deal, announced in court Friday, means both girls will avoid prison time for the attack on Payton Leutner, who was also 12. Morgan Geyser, now 15, will be treated indefinitely at a mental hospital. Her codefendant, Anissa Weier, faces at least three years in a mental hospital.
Weier and Geyser lured Payton Leutner, who was also 12, into the woods at a park in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb. Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, according to investigators. Leutner survived after she crawled out of the woods to a path where a passing bicyclist found her.
Both Weier and Geyser told detectives they felt they had to kill Leutner to become Slender Man’s “proxies,” or servants, and protect their families from him.
Geyser had been scheduled to go on trial Oct. 16. The plea deal comes after a jury this month determined that Weier was mentally ill at the time of the attack on Leutner.
Geyser was at Friday’s hearing but didn’t speak. Afterward, the judge allowed her to spend three hours with her family before returning her to a mental hospital where she has been receiving treatment.
Leutner’s parents did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.
Geyser and Weier were charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a possible sentence of up to 65 years in prison. Weier pleaded guilty to a reduced charge last month, and a jury then determined the sentence.
Slender Man started with an online post in 2009, as a mysterious spectre whose image people edit into everyday scenes of children at play.