Teen ‘Slender Man’ attacker ducks prison time for savage stabbing

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A Wisconsin girl will avoid prison time for helping her friend stab their classmate nearly to death in a bid to please the fictional horror character Slender Man, a jury determined.

Anissa Weier was found not criminally responsible in the occult-inflected attack and will spend time at a hospital for treatment, not behind bars, WISN reported.

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 Leutner, who barely survived her wounds. All three girls were 12 at the time.

RELATED: A look at the Slender Man stabbing

35 PHOTOS
Slenderman stabbing case
See Gallery
Slenderman stabbing case
Anissa Weier is led out of the courtroom by a sheriff's deputy on Aug. 21, 2015 during the arraignment of the Slenderman stabbing trial in Waukesha County Court in Waukesha, Wis. The court entered a not guilty plea for them and moved to set a trial date in mid-October. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Here Morgan Geyser is brought into court by a sheriff's deputy on Aug. 21, 2015 during the arraignment of the Slenderman stabbing trial in Waukesha County Court in Waukesha, Wis. The court entered a not guilty plea for them and moved to set a trial date in mid-October. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Waukesha, Wisc., USA. 2nd July, 2014. A judge ordered a competency hearing for one of two Wisconsin 12 year-old girls accused of stabbing their friend to please the fictional Internet character "Slenderman" after experts deemed her mentally incompetent to proceed with her defense, July 2, 2014 in Waukesha, Wisc. © Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT/Alamy Live News
Waukesha, Wisc., USA. 2nd July, 2014. A judge ordered a competency hearing for one of two Wisconsin 12 year-old girls accused of stabbing their friend to please the fictional Internet character "Slenderman" after experts deemed her mentally incompetent to proceed with her defense, July 2, 2014 in Waukesha, Wisc. © Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT/Alamy Live News
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI

Girl, 12, proves incompetent to stand trial. 

(Photo by Twitter / @iChicagoNews)

Slender Man
The Slender Man - Teryn Cochron
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Yasmin Ouard poses as Slenderman from the series Mobile Hornets ahead of the MCM London Comic Con Expo at ExCel on October 26, 2012 in London, England. Visitors to the Comic Convention are encouraged to wear a costume of their favourite comic character and flock to the Expo to gather all the latest news in the world of comics, manga, anime, film, cosplay, games and cult fiction. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Courtesy: WITI
Anissa Weier, accused of being involved in the stabbing of another girl related to the 'Slenderman' online story, is led into the courtroom on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 in Waukesha, Wis. (Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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 second-degree intentional homicide in a deal with prosecutors in August. But she claims she was mentally ill during the attack and not responsible for her actions. A jury heard three days of testimony from psychologists and detectives. If the jury agrees she wasn’t responsible, she’ll be committed to a mental institution. If not, she faces prison.

The jury returned late Friday evening with what appeared to be a verdict in Weier’s favor, with 10 of 12 jurors — the minimum required by law — voting she was mentally ill. On a second question that jurors had to decide — whether she was criminally responsible for her actions — 10 jurors also voted she was not. But it wasn’t the same 10 on both questions, and Judge Michael Bohren ruled the verdict invalid.

He ordered jurors to continue deliberations.

Weier’s attorney, Maura McMahon, said during closing arguments that Weier was lonely and depressed after her parents divorced and that she latched onto Geyser.

SEE ALSO: Astounding images of Disney World reveal damage from Hurricane Irma

Together they became obsessed with Slender Man, developing a condition called shared delusional disorder, McMahon said. Weier believed Slender Man could read her mind as well as teleport and would kill her or her family if she talked about him, she said.

“This sounds crazy, because it is,” McMahon said. “This was a real being to this child and she needed to protect those around her. At 12 years old, she had no way to protect herself from (Slender Man) except for Morgan’s advice and they swirled down into madness together.”

Waukesha County Deputy District Attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz countered during his closings that the stabbing was calculated. He said the girls had planned the attack for at least four months. He asked jurors to consider why if the girls were so afraid of Slender Man they waited so long to attack Leutner.

He also pointed out that Weier told a detective she wasn’t frightened of Slender Man until after the attack, when Geyser told her she had made a deal with the monster that he would spare their families if they killed Leutner.

“It comes down to did she have to or did she want to?” Szczupakiewicz said. “It wasn’t kill or be killed. It was a choice and she needs to be held criminally responsible.”

Weier, bespectacled and dressed in a long gray-and-white cardigan, visibly trembled in her seat during the closings.

SEE ALSO: Maxine Waters: 'Melania can’t trust Trump'

Wisconsin law requires only 10 of 12 jurors to render a verdict on whether a criminal defendant wasn’t responsible for her actions due to a mental condition. The jury spent all day Friday deliberating but there was no indication the panel was close to a decision as evening drew on.

Geyser has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide by reason of mental disease or defect. Her trial is set to begin Oct. 9.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.