Wisconsin girl in Slenderman stabbing attack changes plea: Report

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MILWAUKEE, Sept 9 (Reuters) - One of the two Wisconsin girls accused of attacking a classmate to please a fictional character named Slenderman on Friday changed her plea to not guilty due to mental illness, local media reported.

Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were charged with attempted first-degree homicide in the May 2014 stabbing attack in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee. All three girls were 12 years old at the time of the stabbing. Weier and Geyser are now 14.

Photos from the courtroom

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12-year-old Slenderman stabbing, Wisconsin
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12-year-old Slenderman stabbing, Wisconsin
One of the two 12-year-old defendants is led into the courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)
Judge Michael Bohren rules one of two 12-year-old defendants mentally competent after hearing the testimony from doctors in a courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)
One of the two 12-year-old defendants is led into the courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)
One of the two 12-year-old defendants' hands are unshackled to allow her to make notes in a courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)
Joseph Smith, attorney for one of two 12-year-old defendants, sits in a courtroom at the county court in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for two 12-year-old girls accused of stabbing another girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears)
Dr. Robert Rawski testifies to the mental competency of one of two 12-year-old defendants in a courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)
One of two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing their classmate to please horror character Slender Man appears in court during the second day of a preliminary hearing in Waukesha, Wis., An attorney for one of two girls to convince a judge Tuesday to move her case into juvenile court, arguing that his client is mentally disturbed and believed she had to kill to protect herself and her family from the creature. Bohren declined to rule on anything Tuesday, asking all sides to submit briefs. All three girls were 12 years old at the time of the incident. (AP Photo/Journal Sentinel, Rick Wood, POOL)
A photo taken on June 3, 2014, shows a Waukesha, Wis. park where two 12-year-old girls are accused of planning to kill another 12-year-old girl before deciding to go to some nearby woods, where the girl was severely injured with 19 stab wounds. Prosecutors say the two 12-year-olds stabbed their acquaintance to please a fictional creature they learned about online. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
FILE - In this Saturday, May 31, 2014, file photo, rescue workers take a 12-year-old stabbing victim to an ambulance in Waukesha, Wis. Neighbors of two U.S. girls accused of stabbing another girl nearly to death say they're struggling to reconcile the allegations with what they know about the 12-year-olds and their upbringings. (AP Photo/Abe Van Dyke, File)
FILE - The site in Waukesha, Wis., where a bicyclist found a 12-year-old girl who had 19 stab wounds is seen in this Tuesday June 3, 2014, file photo. Two 12-year-old girls are accused of stabbing the girl in the woods to please a fictional character they learned about online. Neighbors of the two accused say they're struggling to reconcile the allegations with what they know about the 12-year-olds and their upbringings. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger, File)
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Weier changed her plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in a Waukesha County Circuit Court on Friday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reported.

Judge Michale Bohren ordered that Weier be evaluated by two doctors by Oct. 6, the newspaper reported. The next hearing for Weier and Geyser is scheduled for Oct. 13.

Geyser's plea was changed to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect last month, according to online court records.

The girls would likely be treated at a mental hospital if they are found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

A Wisconsin appeals court ruled in July that the teenagers should be tried as adults after their attorneys tried to get the case moved to juvenile court. They can appeal that decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

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Weier and Geyser could each be sentenced to up to 65 years in prison if convicted as adults. They could be held until the age of 25 if convicted as juveniles.

Wisconsin law requires cases to begin in adult court if they involve juvenile suspects at least 10 years old who are charged with first-degree attempted intentional homicide.

The girls' lawyers had argued the girls were mentally ill when they stabbed their classmate. A judge ruled Weier and Geyser both were competent to stand trial. Health experts testified that Geyser suffers from schizophrenia, but has refused to take medication. Weier was diagnosed with a delusional disorder that made her believe in Slenderman.

According to prosecutors, the girls lured the classmate into the woods and stabbed her 19 times to impress Slenderman, a fictional supernatural Internet character depicted in stories as stalking and tormenting humans, especially children. The stabbing occurred after a sleepover and had been planned for months.

The victim was found crawling out of the woods by a bicyclist. She spent six days in the hospital and returned to school last fall. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Additional reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Toby Chopra and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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