Two girls, both 12 at time of attack, face attempted first-degree homicide charge for assault on friend

By Jeff Truesdell
Updated December 19, 2014 11:00 AM
Credit: Charles Auer/Pool/Waukesha Freeman/AP

Two Wisconsin girls, both 12 years old at the time they allegedly stabbed a friend nearly to death to satisfy the mythical Slender Man character, have been judged competent to stand trial.

Anissa Weier, now 13, and Morgan Geyser will face attempted first-degree homicide charges in the May 30 attack on another girl after a ruling Dec. 18 by Circuit Judge Michael Bohren in Waukesha County, reports

The victim, Payton Leutner, was stabbed 19 times during a game of hide-and-seek in the woods after a slumber party at Geyser’s home. Her mother, Stacie Leutner, said her daughter feared Slender Man before the attack because of stories told by her friend about the specter, who figures in fantasy tales posted online.

In court, Weier’s defense attorney argued that his client was mentally unfit for trial by calling on two doctors who each testified that she couldn’t adequately aid her defense. But the judge said Weier appeared highly intelligent after the state’s doctor, Robert Rawski, argued that Weier understood the high stakes.

“I said, ‘What do you know about why they’re charging you with first-degree intentional homicide?’ She said, ‘It means I intended to kill somebody,’ ” Rawski testified.

Geyser’s attorney, Anthony Cotton – despite earlier vowing to challenge his client’s competency after stating that Geyser still believed fictional characters were real – dropped his objection to the state’s finding before the judge ruled. But he later opened the door to a defense of not-guilty-by-reason-of-mental-illness when he said Geyser has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Suspects in crimes such as attempted homicide must be tried as adults if they are at least 10 years old under Wisconsin law. But, according to, attorneys for both suspects say they will ask to have their cases moved to juvenile court, where penalties are less severe.