Judge rules Slenderman stabbing suspects will stay in adult court
The two girls accused of trying to murder their 12-year-old friend to please the fictional character \"Slenderman\" will stay in the adult court system for now.
Twelve-year-old Morgan Geyser and 13-year-old Anissa Weier were back in Waukesha County court Friday for a hearing to determine if their case would go to juvenile court. The girls' attorneys tried to prove there's just one reason why they tried to kill their friend.
\"It has never changed,\" Geyser's attorney Anthony Cotton said during the hour-long hearing. \"Un wielding belief of Slenderman that he exists, that he's real, that he lives, that he hears [my client].\"
Defense attorneys say their clients felt they needed to kill their friend to protect their families from Slenderman. In doing so, the defense hoped that would change the case's charge from first degree attempted intentional homicide -- a charge that must be heard in adult court -- to a lesser second degree attempted homicide, which could move the case to juvenile court.
\"It's the only motive for the crime, judge,\" Cotton said. \"It's the only motivation.\"
\"It's a terrifying place, but it was an actual belief,\" Weier's attorney Maura McMahon said.
But the state argued, and Judge Michael Bohren agreed, there are a number of reasons the girls may have stabbed their friend 19 times on Waukesha's south side May 31, 2014 . The victim recovered from her wounds.
\"Belief in Slenderman, a need to kill to become a proxy to be with Slenderman, a need to kill to prove to skeptics that Slenderman exists, and the need to kill to protect self and family from Slenderman,\" Bohren listed during Friday's hearing.
Judge Bohren explained the state doesn't have to prove any one of those in particular just yet and ruled to keep the case in adult court -- where if convicted, Geyser and Weier could go to prison for 60 years. In juvenile court, the girls could be released by age 25.
\"We think it's fair to say the family's disappointed, they certainly wanted their daughter to be in children's court as we do,\" Cotton said outside the courtroom after the hearing.
Geyser and Weier won't go to trial just yet. There's a chance this still goes to juvenile court. The judge will hold separate waiver hearings for Weier (May 26 - 27) and Geyser (June 17 - 18) Where defense attorneys hope to show why juvenile court is the proper setting for this trial.
Families for both accused girls and the victim's family were all in court Friday, but declined to speak with reporters after.