Anissa Weier was just 12-years-old when she and a friend repeatedly stabbed a classmate nearly to death in 2014, all in the name of appeasing the fictional online horror character Slender Man. Following the unthinkable crime, Weier and alleged partner in crime Morgan Geyser (who was also just 12-years-old at the time) were charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Twelve-year-old victim Payton Leutner barely escaped the brutal attack with her life after being stabbed 19 times and left for dead in the Wisconsin woods.
On Monday, Slender Man stabbing suspect Anissa Weier, now 15-years-old, pleaded guilty to a lessor charge of attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime, with use of a deadly weapon. As ABC News reported, both Weier and Geyser have been incarcerated since their arrests shortly after the 2014 stabbing. The charges against Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser have been handled in the Wisconsin adult court system, and both had previously pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Despite Weier's guilty plea on Monday, the teen will still face trial in the Slender Man stabbing case next month. That trial will not be used to determine her guilt or innocence, but will rather focus solely on her mental health at the time the unthinkable crime was committed.If Anissa Weier is found to be legally responsible for her part in the Slender Man stabbing at her trial next month, she could face up to 10 years in prison. If she is found not guilty due to mental illness, that sentence will be slashed to three years in a mental health treatment facility. If Anissa Weier had been found guilty of the original charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, she could have been sentenced to up to 65 years in prison.During her Monday court appearance, 15-year-old Weier spoke openly to the court. The Slender Man stabbing defendant told Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael O. Bohren that she was aware of the consequences of her guilty plea and even went into her motivation for nearly stabbing her classmate to death in 2014.
"I believed that if I didn't go through with it, Slender Man would come and attack and kill myself, my friends and my family. Those I cared about the most."After stabbing 12-year-old Leutner nearly two dozen times at at heavily wooded park in Waukesha, Wisconsin, both Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser allegedly fled the scene. The duo, who had shared a friendly sleepover with their victim the night before, allegedly planned to meet up with Slender Man.
The meeting with Slender Man was reportedly supposed to take place in the middle of a forest hundreds of miles away. Weier and Geyser had planned to walk the entire way, but were nabbed by police instead after their victim was able to crawl for help.
During her Monday court hearing, Anissa Weier told the judge that she was not the one who had actually stabbed Peyton Leutner in the park that day in 2014. According to Weier, she didn't want to hurt the victim, and she claimed to have told Geyser that she "couldn't" stab Peyton.She did, however, encourage Morgan Geyser to do the stabbing and did not try to stop her once she'd started.
"I told her that I couldn't do it asked me whether or not she should do it. And I just wanted it to be over with so I said, 'Go do what you have to do,' and Peyton was then hurt."When the judge asked Weier how the victim had been hurt, Weier's response was chilling.
"Morgan (Geyser) jumped on top of her and stabbed her repeatedly."According to prosecutors, Geyser and Weier meticulously planned the stabbing before carrying it out, having been inspired by Slender Man stories on the the Internet. Geyser and Weier are being tried separately, and hours after Weier entered her guilty plea, Morgan Geyser also appeared in court for a status hearing. Geyser has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental insanity, and on Monday her attorney Anthony Cotton confirmed that she intends to take her case to trial.
"We have continued to gather crucial information from the focus groups we've been convening repeatedly [and] are confident in our approach."Cotton also refused to comment on the Anissa Weier guilty plea in the Slender Man stabbing case, saying that it would not be appropriate to do so.
[Featured Image by Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP Images]