Sept. 16 (UPI) — A Wisconsin jury agreed that one of the two girls charged in the “Slender Man” stabbing shouldn’t be held criminally responsible due to mental illness.
The verdict came late Friday night as 10 of 12 jurors agreed Anissa Weier, 15, was suffering from a mental disorder that prevented her from conforming to the law when she and Morgan Geyser attempted to fatally stab a sixth-grade classmate in 2014, the Journal Sentinel reported.
All three girls were 12 at the time when Geyser stabbed the victim 19 times before she and Weier left her to die as part of a plot to become proxies of the fictional Internet character Slender Man. The victim survived.
Circuit Judge Michael Bohren rejected an initial verdict presented at 8 p.m. because the jurors who agreed Weier had a mental condition weren’t the same 10 who believed the condition prevented her from knowing her actions were wrong and conforming to the law.
After almost three more hours the jury emerged with the verdict which, per Weier’s plea agreement means she will be placed in a mental institution until at least 2020, WDJT reported.
Weier pleaded guilty in August to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, but claimed she wasn’t responsible for her actions because she was mentally ill.
If her plea was rejected, prosecutors would have recommended a sentence of 10 years in prison and an additional 10 years of extended supervision.
Weier’s attorney Maura McMahon said justice would be achieved by placing her in a secure mental hospital, where she belongs.
“There’s no walking away for Anissa, no loophole,” McMahon said. “There’ve been consequences for three years, and it will continue one way or the other.”
Weier said she had second thoughts when she and Geyser began their 300-mile walk to Slender Man’s supposed mansion in Nicolet National Forest, but Geyser encouraged her to continue by saying she’d made a deal with Slender Man that would result in the deaths of their families if the girls didn’t join him.
Deputy District Attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz argued “it was never a kill-or-be-killed” scenario and that Weier followed through with the murder plot to avoid losing her friendship with Geyser.
“It was a choice she needed to be held criminally responsible for,” he said.
The trial for Geyser, who was diagnosed with early stages of schizophrenia and committed to a state mental hospital, will begin October 16.