Anissa Weier, one of two Wisconsin girls who admitted to participating in the stabbing of their classmate in order to impress the creepy fictional character Slender Man, was found mentally ill at the time of the attack and will avoid jail time.
The world took notice of Slender Man in 2014, when two pre-teen girls — Weier and Morgan Geyser — lured their classmate Payton Leutner into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier encouraged her, prosecutors said. The victim barely survived and managed to crawl onto a bike path, where she was discovered by a passing cyclist.
The jury verdict came Friday after a week of testimony and 11 hours of deliberation.
“I’m very thankful to the jurors for taking the time to look at what was really going on with her,” Weier’s attorney, Maura McMahon, told reporters.
Weier and Morgan, both just 12 at the time, told detectives they were compelled to kill Leutner to become Slender Man’s servants and to protect their families from him. The mysterious fictitious creature, who began circulating online years ago, is a tall, thin apparition with ghost-white skin and no face who is said to abduct and kill children.
Weier pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide in August, but claimed she was mentally ill during the attack and not responsible for her actions. The plea deal with the prosecutors called for her to be sent to a mental facility for at least three years if judged mentally ill by the court. If she had not been judged mentally ill at the time of the stabbing, she would have served 10 years in prison.
Geyser pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Her trial is set for Oct. 9.