Slender Man stabbers to be tried as adults

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren ruled on Monday that the two 13-year-old girls faced with charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide will be tried as adults.

Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier attempted to kill their classmate, Payton Leutner, after a sleepover at Geyser’s home in celebration of her 12th birthday. The two lured Leutner into a nearby wooded area where Geyser proceeded to stab her 19 times.

According to Bohren, trying the girls in juvenile court would “unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense.” The girls now face up to 45 years in prison if convicted, where they would have only faced three years of incarceration followed by two years of extensive supervision had their case gone to juvenile court.

Bohren’s decision will not likely affect Geyser’s intention to plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The two girls explained in a statement to the police that they perpetrated the stabbing in an attempt to impress a fictional Internet character called Slender Man, who they believed would kill them or their families unless they murdered their friend.

The case has served as a lightening rod for debate regarding juvenile justice reform, as advocates feel the two girls’ interests will not be served by an adult prosecution. The girls’ legal representatives called experts in adolescent brain development to the stand, as well as psychiatrists and psychologists who had examined the defendants in an effort to convince Bohren to try them as minors, but their testimony failed to convince the judge.

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