Slenderman Stabbers Lose Appeal for Juvie Trial

     WAUKESHA, Wis. (CN) — Two Wisconsin girls will stand trial as adults after nearly succeeding in murdering their classmate at age 12, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.
     The Second District of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that both Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both now 14 years old, will receive adequate treatment in the adult court system.
     Geyser and Weier were picked up on May 31, 2014, after stabbing their friend Payton Leutner 19 times. Leutner crawled to safety from the woods after narrowly avoiding a fatal injury.
     The pair claim they had planned to kill Leutner for months to please Slenderman, a fictional character created for a horror website, and were walking to his home in Nicolet National Forest when they were arrested.
     Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael O. Bohren found the girls competent to stand trial in December 2014, and denied their petition to send their case back to juvenile court the following March.
     The girls challenged the latter decision, but the appeals court on Wednesday found they satisfied none of the three requirements to send murder charges against a child over 10 back to juvenile court.
     Specifically, the opinion pointed out that both girls are receiving mental health treatment during incarceration, and trying them as juveniles could cut off treatment before their 18th birthdays.
     Geyser, painted as the ringleader in the attempted murder, may even receive better treatment for her schizophrenia and oppositional defiant disorder, the court ruled.
     During an unsuccessful attempt to reduce her bail or place Geyser with her grandparents instead of jail, psychologist Dr. Deborah Collins testified that Geyser is responding well to medication, and no longer reports seeing and speaking to fictional characters.
     “Before, she had been numb,” Collins told the court. “Now, she could feel.”
     Weier, according to testimony, showed improvement far earlier, with her attorneys arguing it was Geyser that perpetrated and encouraged the delusion that caused the murder. The girls no longer have contact with one another.
     Still, the appeals court ruled, Bohren’s decision was reasonable, considering Weier’s long-term participation in a premeditated murder.
     Noting that it could stop upon finding the girls did not meet the first criteria, the appeals court addressed the remaining two for “completeness,” finding moving the case to juvenile court would reduce the deterrent effect of punishment and “depreciate the seriousness of the offense.”
     The girls can appeal the decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but no documents had been filed by press time Wednesday.

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