‘Slenderman’ Stabber Breaks Down in Court

     WAUKESHA, Wis. (CN) — For the first time since she was charged with the near-fatal stabbing of her middle-school classmate, Morgan Geyser cried in court Friday as the judge denied her request to live under house arrest while awaiting trial.
     Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren was no more merciful with Geyser’s co-defendant, Anissa Weier, who admittedly collaborated with Geyser in the May 2014 stabbing of their school friend at a forest near her house.
     Payton Leutner survived the attack after a bicyclist found her crawling from the forest with 19 stab wounds.
     All the girls were 12 at the time of the attempted murder, as it has been charged. The assailants have claimed they did it to please Slenderman, a fictional internet boogeyman they believed they could live with if they completed the murder.
     Friday’s hearing was on the issue of bail: both defendants want to leave institutions and return to a family home. Their bail is an evenly-divided million dollars, which they sought to reduce to a signature bond or $5,000.
     Also for the first time, Geyser’s long brown hair was neatly pulled back from her face into two braids for her court appearance.
     Weier’s bail hearing was first and brief, with oral argument and no testimony. Attorney Joseph Smith Jr. told the court that Weier’s parents worked opposite shifts and would be home with her constantly, and attorney Maura McMahon read a letter Weier had written to the court requesting a lower bail.
     “I’ve been away from my family for 22 months and 13 days,” Weier wrote, adding that she had already missed two of her little brother’s birthdays and family holidays, and she did not want to miss any more.
     Prosecutor Kevin Osborne noted that Weier has previously blamed Geyser’s influence as having induced her participation in the attack.
     If she became dangerous as a result of this “shared delusion,” Osborne added, “what about someone else?”
     “What about a different shared delusion?”
     Slenderman himself was uncharacteristically absent from hearing testimony and questioning. With Geyser now taking a “therapeutic dose” of an anti-psychotic, she claims she has not seen her “friends” — including fictional characters from the Harry Potter and Star Trek series — in several weeks.
     Deborah Collins, a psychologist who evaluated Geyser, said the girl was recommitted to a mental health institution in December 2015, and has showed drastic improvement upon taking the therapeutic dose of the medication.
     “Before, she had been numb,” Collins told the court Geyser had said. “Now, she could feel.”
     While she was in jail, Geyser reported a sexual assault by her roommate to her mother and a social worker. Social worker Jessie Andrews testified that the roommate was transferred after having allegedly showed her genitals to Geyser and requesting that Geyser “reciprocate.”
     The state attempted to cast doubt on this report, pointing to Geyser’s past hallucinations of fictional characters that she also claimed had touched her.
     Judge Bohren also heard testimony from the nonprofit group that would handle Geyser’s electronic-monitoring bracelet, which would not allow her to leave her grandparent’s house in Kiel, Wisconsin.
     Her grandfather, Robert Niesen, is a retired juvenile officer and police chief who said he would be home with Geyser almost all the time, along with his wife, Geyser’s grandmother. Their house is less than a mile from a police station.
     Niesen said he had sent all weapons miles away to a friend and put kitchen knives in a lock box to which only he would have the key. He also said he would personally administer Geyser’s anti-psychotic medication and would not hesitate to report a violation.
     Geyser’s attorney Anthony Cotton of Kuchler & Cotton pointed out during final arguments that Geyser was crying, something he said he has never seen her do.
     “She is a different person now,” Cotton pleaded with the court, arguing that, unlike Weier, Geyser’s reason for committing the crime — a mental illness — had been addressed.
     Prosecutor Ted Szczupakiewicz made the case that Geyser was even more dangerous than her co-defendant.
     “Morgan Geyser is the one that stabbed this victim 19 times,” he told the court.
     While Weier’s family received the news with relative stoicism, all but Niesen from the Geyser clan were sobbing as Judge Bohren denied Geyser bail.
     In both cases, the court said the flight risk, danger to the community and seriousness of the offense did not support lowering their bail.
     Weier was granted additional time during her biweekly visits to a secure facility in Waukesha, during which she visits with her family and will start seeing a psychiatrist.
     Smith said after the hearing that they would be discussing an appeal.
     Cotton was litigating another case in the Waukesha County Courthouse and was not immediately available for comment after the hearing.

%d bloggers like this: