One of two Wisconsin teenagers charged with repeatedly stabbing a classmate to impress a fictitious horror character called Slender Man has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Anissa Weier, 15, pleaded guilty on Monday to attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime, with use of a deadly weapon.
She initially faced a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the 2014 attack on Payton Leutner in Waukesha, Milwaukee.
Anissa Weier, 15, (above in February) pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on Monday over the 2014 stabbing of classmate Payton Leutner in Waukesha, Milwaukee
The plea means her trial next month will look only at whether she is legally responsible for the crime or not guilty because of mental illness.
She could face 10 years in prison if she’s found guilty. If not, she’ll spend three years in a mental hospital.
Prosecutors allege she and her co-defendant, Morgan Geyser, stabbed their classmate 19 times in a Waukesha park and left her for dead following a sleepover.
The two teens then allegedly planned to walk hundreds of miles north to meet Slender Man in a forest.
Leutner managed to crawl out of the woods to a path where she was found by a bicyclist with stab wounds to her chest, abdomen and arms.
Payton Leutner, pictured her earlier in 2017, was stabbed 19 times and left for dead allegedly by her two friends in Waukesha, Milwaukee when she was just 12 years old
Weier’s (above in February) plea means her trial next month will look only at whether she is legally responsible for the crime or not guilty because of mental illness
Doctors later stated that the knife passed less than a millimeter from a major artery, leaving Payton ‘the width of a human hair’ away from death.
When Weier was arrested, she told investigators that ‘Slender Man’ told her to carry out the attack. She was just 12 years told at the time.
Geyser also was due in court Monday for a status hearing. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease to attempted homicide charges in adult court.
Weier also entered the same plea initially.
Geyser’s attorney, Anthony Cotton, said Monday that they plan to proceed to trial.
He said it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to comment on Weier’s decision. He said they have been holding mock trials weekly.
Anissa has been behind bars since May 2014, while Morgan was moved to a mental health facility in March last year.
Prosecutors allege Anissa and her co-defendant, Morgan Geyser, (above in November 2016) stabbed Payton 19 times in a Waukesha park and left her for dead following a sleepover
WHO IS SLENDER MAN?
Unnerving: The Slender Man with one of his ‘chosen victims’ as depicted in a popular online meme
The Slender Man is a fictional character prevalent on the internet after originating as a meme in 2009.
The mythical creature is often depicted as an unnaturally tall, thin figure with a blank, featureless face, wearing a black suit.
The character is said to have long, tentacle-like arms, which can be extended to capture prey.
It is said to stalk, abduct and traumatize children and, depending on interpretations of the myth, can cause memory loss, insomnia and paranoia.
It is also said to be able to create distortions in photographs and teleport.
It is understood to have originated in a Photoshop contest on the Something Awful Forums in 2009.
It then went viral with numerous works of fan art and short scary stories published online known as ‘creepypasta’.
The character has developed its own life online, with two feature-length films funded in part by Kickstarter appearing in 2012.
The meme that appears most is that of a tall malevolent figure, who silently stalks down his prey.
‘We have continued to gather crucial information from the focus groups we’ve been convening repeatedly,’ he said, adding that they ‘are confident in our approach.’