The two 13-year old girls charged with stabbing their classmate 19 times and leaving her to die in a Waukesha County forest last year are now to be tried as adults, ruled a Wisconsin judge Monday. The case gained widespread attention when it came to light the young girls planned the murder more than a month in advance to prove their dedication to “Slender Man”, a fictional demon-like entity created in online stories from 2009.
The girls were initially charged as adults for attempted first-degree intentional homicide due to Wisconsin law and because prosecutors agreed that the strategic arrangement of the would-be-murder was a ‘very adult offence’, says The Washington Post. However the defence tried desperately to move the case to the juvenile system to no avail, as the judge believed moving the perpetrators would “depreciate the seriousness of the offence.” The decision to try the two girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, in the adult court system means they could now face up to 45 years each, when they would have only received up to five years if placed in the juvenile system.
“This was an effort to kill someone, not a mistake by hitting someone too hard,” said Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren on Monday. “This was premeditated murder.”
Geyser and Weier’s lawyers presented their arguments for moving the young assailants in two other hearings earlier in the year, saying that the girls would be given better mental health treatment in the juvenile system. Geyser had been diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia during court competency evaluations, and she had not been taking her medication because she believed it would affect her ability to talk with her “friends”, reported the Journal Sentinel. Her attorneys tried to make the case that their client’s delusional condition would only worsen in adult court placement, writing in court filings that she’s “not the hardened, irascible offender who… needs to be taught a lesson through adult court placement.” Not only did she strongly believe in the tall faceless ‘Slender Man’, but she also said that she sees him in her dreams and believes that he can read her mind as well as teleport. Geyser was reportedly the one who did the stabbing, according to the victim and Weier, but experts testified in a May hearing that she is now remorseful and wants treatment.
These notions were rejected on Monday’s hearing however, with the judge acknowledging the girls’ delusions and mental illness, but maintaining that he was concerned for what would happen when they would be taken out of treatment at age 18 since they can only stay in the juvenile system until then. He argued that if tried as adults the girls would be supervised for possibly decades and their treatment would continue, which is a safer alternative for the community. Advocates of criminal-justice reform are quite appalled at this decision and firmly believe the girls should be treated as the minors they are, with National Juvenile Defender Center director Kim Dvorchak telling the Journal Sentinel that “anything else is legal fiction.”
The gruesome stabbing incident garnered national attention last year, mostly because of the strange reasoning given by the young offenders. The girls, who were 12 at the time of the attack, had originally told the authorities that they started planning the murder of their friend and classmate during a birthday slumber party in May 2014 (with Geyser later admitting that the idea began as early as December 2013) for the purpose of showing their loyalty to Slender Man. The character comes from a user-generated horror fiction website known as Creepypasta.wiki.com, with typically poor writing I might add, where the girls first read about the creature and somehow began thinking they needed to kill to please this alleged “leader” of the Creepypasta world. The two girls were at first going to kill their classmate in their house, but later decided to bring her to a nearby park where they knew of a bathroom with a drain that the blood could go down. Upon arriving there, one of the girls began having a small nervous breakdown, so the other suggested a game of hide and seek. During the game, one of the girls allegedly tackled the victim and commenced the attack, stabbing her a total of 19 times before running away. The girls’ plans were to run to Slender Man’s mansion, which they believed to be in the Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. The victim crawled to the road where she was found by a passing cyclist who rushed her to the hospital where she fortunately recovered. Authorities later found Geyser and Weier walking towards the national forest, with a five-inch knife in one of their backpacks.
No trial date has been set, but the two are to enter their pleas on Aug. 21, according to court records. Although Weier’s lawyer has said he will be further discussing the possibility of appealing the decision made yesterday.