One of two Wisconsin girls who repeatedly stabbed their classmate because they claimed they were possessed by the fictional horror character Slender Man has lost an appeal.
Morgan Geyser was 12 years old when she and her friend Anissa Weier attacked classmate Payton Leutner in a Milwaukee suburb in 2014.
Geyser, now 18, pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted homicide and in 2017 was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She was sentenced to 40 years in a mental health institution.
Her attorney, Matthew Pinix, appealed the ruling by arguing that Geyser should have been charged with second-degree intentional homicide, which would have placed the case in juvenile court rather than adult court.
But Wisconsin’s 2nd District Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that the Waukesha County Circuit Court was correct in keeping the case in adult court.
Pinix said he planned to appeal the ruling to the Wisconsin Supreme Court but declined to comment further until he finished reading the decision.
The appeals court did not rule on whether statements Geyser made to police should have been allowed at trial.
The court said it didn’t matter because other evidence against her was overwhelming.
Geyser and her co-defendant Weier had admitted to luring Leutner from a sleepover to a wooded park in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, in 2014. All three girls were 12 at the time.
Weier stabbed Leutner 19 times while Geyser urged her on, according to investigators.
The girls left Leutner for dead but she survived by crawling out of the woods to a path where a passing bicyclist found her.
Both Geyser and Weier told detectives they felt they had to kill Leutner to become Slender Man’s ‘proxies’, or servants, and that the character would kill their families if they didn’t follow through.
Geyser, who is schizophrenic, admitted to manipulating Weier into believing in Slender Man.
Weier sentenced to 25 years in a mental institution after having been found not guilty of second-degree murder by reason of insanity. She is set to be released when she is 37.
Morgan received a longer sentence of 40 years because of her history of mental illness. She will be 55 when she is released.
Leutner spoke out about the horrifying ordeal, which left her traumatized for months and covered in 25 scars, for the first time in a docu-series called Inside The Verdict: Slender Man last fall.
She described how during the attack Geyser told her: ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m only a little kitty cat.’
The girls then fled the woods, leaving Leutner for dead.
They later told detectives that they believed Leutner would not survive.
‘So, we told her we we’re gonna get help, but we really weren’t. We were going to run and let her – pass away,’ Weier told detectives.
Geyser, after describing the crime in a separate interview, became worried about how much she had revealed.
In a clip from her interrogation, she confessed: ‘I might as well just say it, we were trying to kill her. Will I regret giving you this information later?’
Both Geyser and Weier apologized for their actions during their sentencing hearings, but the judge determined that neither were mentally fit to be released.