An appeals court ruled today that the two girls accused of trying to murder a classmate to appease the fictional web character Slender Man could be tried as adults. Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were 12 years old when they lured a classmate into the woods after a sleepover party near their home in Waukesha, Wisconsin and stabbed her 29 times on May 31, 2014. The victim crawled to a nearby road following the attack and was discovered by a passing cyclist. She suffered organ failure and a significant loss of blood however has since made a full recovery.
A user generated fictional faceless specter created in the forums section of the comedy website Something Awful, Slender Man became a source of memes and fan fiction starting around 2009. After learning about Slender Man on various websites, Weier and Geyser claim they believed he was real and became obsessed with the idea of killing their friend in order to become one of his followers and prevent him from harming their families. Following the attack, and prior to undergoing extensive surgery, the victim was able to tell police the name of one of her attackers.
Since being arrested and charged with first degree intentional homicide, defense lawyers have tried to argue at various times that the girls were unfit to stand trial due to mental incompetence and that they should not be tried as adults. Wisconsin state law mandates that “all murder and attempted-murder charges for children older than 10 start in adult court." If convicted, the two girls could receive up to 45 years in prison.