Wisconsin girl reaches plea deal in Slen­der Man case

Waterloo Region Record - - WORLD - Ivan Moreno The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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