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One of the Wisconsin teens convicted in the 2014 stabbing of a classmate, which she said was to appease the fictional character Slender Man, says she’s “remorseful” and ready to re-enter society after "exhausting" all options at the facility where she's being held.
Anissa Weier, who’s seeking an early release after being convicted for the knife attack of 12-year-old Payton Luetner, insisted she’s committed to “healing” the “wounds” she inflicted nearly seven years ago.
“I am sorry and deeply regretful for the agony, pain, and fear I have caused not only to Payton and her family, but my community as well,” Weier wrote in a letter to Waukesha County circuit judge Michael Bohren, which Oxygen.com obtained. “I take full responsibility for my actions...and I show that responsibility by making sure I never get that ill again.”
The 19-year-old admitted she “hated” what she’d done but added she’d “forgiven” herself — and asked the public to do the same.
“I have learned that forgiveness is a process of healing that helps release the pain of the past,” Weier wrote. “I no longer want to be a source of pain in my community, and that is why I ask for forgiveness.”
On May 31, 2014, Weier and her friend Morgan Geyser lured Leutner into the woods after a sleepover, held her down, and stabbed her 19 times. The two girls left her to die in the forest. Leutner, who survived, was ultimately rescued by a cyclist.
Weier and Geyser said they carried out the stabbing to appease Slender Man, an online urban legend and fictitious supernatural being they were apparently convinced was real. The knife attack, they told investigators, was a “dedication” to Slender Man, whose existence they were bent on proving.
“Weier stated that many people do not believe Slenderman is real and she stated she wanted to prove the skeptics wrong,” according to the case’s criminal complaint, obtained by Oxygen.com.
In 2017, Weier pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide. She was sentenced to 25 years in a state mental hospital. The teenager had auditory and visual hallucinations. Geyser, who was also spared prison, received a 40-year sentence in a state facility.
For the past three and half years, Weier has been held at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. A panel of medical experts will present their findings to Judge Bohren regarding their recent assessments of Weier’s mental state as part of her conditional release request.
In her court letter this week, she also detailed her progress — and willingness — to address her mental health “struggles” since being sentenced. She pointed to strict “medication adherence,” “countless hours of therapy,” and active participation in treatment groups.
“I vowed after my crime that I would never become a weapon again, and I intend to keep that vow,” she wrote.
Weier also urged the judge to approve her release due to limited treatment options at the facility, which she claims to have “exhausted.”
“I am NOT saying I am done with my treatment,” Weier added. “I am saying that I have exhausted all the resources available to me at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. If I am to become a productive member of society, I need to be a part of society.”
If released, Weier said she plans to engage with other struggling teens and expressed a desire to pursue higher education.
“Aside from being committed to being healthy, I am also committed to using this negative situation and publicity for something good,” Weier wrote. “I want to use my experience losing myself in a mental illness as a way to make others who are dealing with mental struggles see they are not alone, this is not the end of who you are, this does not define you, and give a reality check to people who are asking for help.”
Prior to her sentencing in 2017, the court learned Weier was using a Ouija board while incarcerated and had reportedly still been having Slender Man delusions.
Weier’s father, who also petitioned for his daughter’s early release, promised to house and support her if she’s released.
“She is my daughter, and I will help support her while she searches for employment or continues her education,” William Weier wrote Bohren in a separate court exhibit obtained by Oxygen.com.
The father noted he “no longer” owns the Waukesha property where the family lived at the time of Leutner’s stabbing. He has since relocated to his grandmother’s former home in a neighboring city, according to the letter.
“Anissa would have familiar surroundings to return to,” William Weier said. “Some of her immediate family is within walking distance of this address as well, so she would have further familiar surroundings to access.”
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 11.
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