UPDATE: A Wisconsin judge has ordered the two girls involved in the Slender Man stabbing to stand trial as adults, according to The Associated Press.
A Wisconsin judge has decided that the two girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, accused of stabbing their friend to appease the fictional online character Slender Man, are mentally fit to stand trial on attempted homicide charges, The Associated Press reports.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren had ordered one girl to undergo more testing and treatment after a doctor deemed her mentally incompetent in August, but a new report from psychiatrist Kenneth Casimir found her mental state had improved. Although her attorney, Anthony Cotton, told Bohren his client suffered from schizophrenia, he declined to challenge Casimir’s report, later telling reporters he didn’t have a strong basis to do so.
(Reports do not distinguish either girl by name, as their attorneys are still trying to move the case to juvenile court, where proceedings are secret.)
As for the other girl, who is now 13-years-old, psychologists for the defense testified that while she is intelligent, she is not capable of understand the workings of the criminal justice system well enough to stand trial. A psychiatrist for the state, however, argued otherwise, and assistant district attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz noted that the girl answered the defense psychologists’ questions about the legal process correctly.
“I’m satisfied that the issues of age and maturity do not override her competency,” Judge Bohren said. “She’s competent to make the decisions that have to be made.” Bohren went on to set a preliminary hearing for February, during which he will decide whether there is enough evidence to officially bring the case to trial.
Prosecutors have charged both girls with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for the May attack, during which they led their classmate, Payton Leutner, to the woods and stabbed her 19 times. Amazingly, Leutner survived, crawling to a roadside, where she was discovered by a bicyclist, who called 911.
The widely reported attack gained particular attention because both Geyser and Weier claimed they were trying to meet Slender Man, a fictional character they believed lived in a mansion in the woods where the crime took place. Slender Man has been a popular meme since 2009 when Something Awful user Eric Knudsen posted a creepy picture of a faceless humanoid lurking behind children to a photoshop contest on the site’s forum. Myriad users have since created their own stories and myths about Slender Man, many of which exist on the site CreepyPasta.com, where Geyser and Weier discovered him.