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Friday, April 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘Slenderman’ Stabbers Lose Bid for Juvie Trials

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CN) - Parents of a 13-year-old who stabbed a classmate 19 times last year sobbed at a hearing Friday as a judge refused to send the criminal case to juvenile court.

Neither the judge's ruling nor her parents' cries seemed to elicit any emotion from Morgan Geyser, shackled to a table in the courtroom while wearing a Batman T-shirt and sweater patterned with the faces of cats.

Geyser's co-defendant Anissa Weier, shackled to her own table in more sedate attire, did not react to the ruling either, nor did Weier's parents.

While the first-degree intentional attempted homicide charges that the girls face come with the automatic presumption of being heard in adult court, second-degree charges can be brought out of juvenile court only by judicial order.

Judge Michael Bohren's ruling finds that the details of the May 31, 2014, stabbing support the first-degree charges.

The defendants' next shot at sending the case against them to juvenile court is a reverse-waiver hearing.

Authorities arrested Geyser and Weier hours after they tried to kill their friend, Payton Leutner, outside Geyser's house where the girls had just had a sleepover. Leutner recovered, and her assailants were deemed competent to stand trial as adults. Both the defendants and the victim were 12 at the time of the stabbing.

Weier's defense has focused on painting Geyser as the ringleader, while Geyser's attorney has pointed to the girls' supposed belief that a fictional boogeyman called Slenderman would harm them and their families if they did not hurt Leutner.

The charges against the girls show that they lured Leutner into the woods and stabbed her 19 times in an attempt to kill her. They allegedly planned to then walk to Slenderman's mansion, which they believed was in Nicolet National Forest, and live with him as "proxies."

Because they are more than 10 years old, the girls' cases were automatically sent to adult court.

During the combined preliminary hearing last month, a doctor testified that Geyser still believes in Slenderman and other fictional characters, including Lord Voldemort, a villain from the Harry Potter book series she believes is her best friend.

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