‘Slenderman’ Stabbing Trial Held in Limbo

     WAUKESHA, Wis. (CN) – Pending input from a Wisconsin appeals court, a judge agreed to stay the trial of two 13-year-olds who say a fictional character told them to kill.
     Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were 12 on May 31, 2014, when they stabbed their classmate, Payton Leutner, 19 times. The girls told police they did it to please Slenderman, an online horror character they later claimed would have hurt them and their families if they failed to kill Leutner.
     Leutner recovered from the attack, and her friends were charged as adults with attempted murder.
     Defense attorneys have been unsuccessful in their myriad efforts to get the case tried in juvenile court, from reverse-waiver petitions to evidentiary and procedural claims. Geyser has been diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia.
     After shooting down the defense’s last attempt on Aug. 10, Judge Michael Bohren scheduled a jury trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court to begin Oct. 15.
     Soon after, Geyser’s attorney Anthony Cotton and Weier’s attorneys, Maura McMahon and Joseph Smith Jr., asked the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for relief.
     In shooting down Cotton’s petition for a stay, the court of appeals citing the attorney’s failure to first request the same relief from Bohren.
     Defense attorneys in turn moved the circuit court to import a jury from another county, suppress statements Weier made to police after her arrest, adjourn the trial for a later date and stay circuit court proceedings pending the appeal.
     Bohren granted the latter motion Monday, according to news reports.
     Cotton told reporters he is hoping for the appeals court to weigh in by the end of the year.

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