Wisconsin girl was mentally ill during stabbing of classmate, jury determines
WAUKESHA, Wis. — A girl who admitted to participating in the stabbing of a classmate to please horror character Slender Man will avoid prison after a jury determined that she was mentally ill at the time of the attack.
Anissa Weier trembled as the jury’s verdict was read late Friday after a week of testimony and 11 hours of deliberations. Her attorney said she was relieved and cried after the verdict.
“I’m very thankful to the jurors for taking the time to look at what was really going on with her,” Maura McMahon said.
Weier and Morgan Geyser lured classmate Payton Leutner into the woods at a park in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, in 2014. Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, according to investigators. A passing bicyclist found Payton, who barely survived her wounds. All three girls were 12 at the time.
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 the demon’s wrath.
Weier, now 15, pleaded guilty to attempted seconddegree intentional homicide in a deal with prosecutors in August. But she claimed she was mentally ill during the attack and not responsible for her actions, in a bid to be sent to a mental institution rather than prison. A plea agreement called for her to spend at least three years in a mental hospital if judged mentally ill, and 10 years in prison if not.
Deputy District Attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz declined comment. Geyser’s trial is set to begin Oct. 9.