One of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who stabbed a classmate in 2014 as a sacrifice to the fictitious character and internet meme Slenderman will not go to prison after a jury determined Friday she was mentally ill at the time of the attack.
Anissa Weier, now 15, was found not criminally responsible for her actions in the stabbing.
In 2014, Anissa Weier (left) and Morgan Geyser lured 12-year-old Payton Leutner into the woods after a sleepover. Then, they stabbed her 19 times to impress Slenderman. The two girls thought that by stabbing their friend they could be Slenderman’s servants, which they believed would protect their families from his evil wrath.
Last Tuesday, Weier’s attorney, Joseph Smith, told jurors her parent’s divorce drove her into the depths of mental illness.
“Anissa’s broken mind caused her to lose touch with reality,” Smith said, according to the AP. “Anissa was under the command and control of a delusional disorder.”
On Friday, 10 of 12 jurors voted Weier mentally ill, the AP reported. Ten out of 12 also voted she was not criminally responsible for her actions. Now, she will go to a state mental hospital. She could be released in three years, according to local TV station WISN.
“We are disappointed in the jury’s decision,” the Leutner family said in a statement, according to PEOPLE. “The decision allows the assailant to petition the court every six months and request release into the community. Their decision also forces our family to relive this horrific crime every six months, wondering if they will be released. The potential release of an assailant that methodically planned and executed an attack, in which our little girl was stabbed 19 times puts the community and our family at risk. It is deeply disappointing.”
Geyser’s trial is scheduled to begin in Ocotober, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“I believed that if I didn’t go through with it, Slenderman would come and attack and kill myself, my friends and my family,” Weier said in court in August, according to the Associated Press. “Those I cared about the most.”
The girl claimed she told Geyser that she didn’t want to stab Leutner.
“I just wanted it over with, so I said, ‘Go do what you have to do,’ and Peyton was then hurt.”
She claimed that Geyser jumped on their classmate and stabbed her repeatedly. Leutner survived the brutal attack. She crawled out of the woods, where a bicyclist found her. She is now reportedly excelling at school.
[Photo: Waukesha Police Department]