Wisconsin Teen Anissa Weier Found Mentally Ill In Slender Man Stabbing, Will Avoid Prison Time

Wisconsin teen Anissa Weier has been found to have been mentally ill at the time she and a friend carried out the now-notorious “Slender Man stabbing” in 2014. The horrific attack unfolded as 12-year-old Anissa Weier and her best friend Morgan Geyser (also 12) plotted and carried out a stabbing attack intended to kill 12-year-old classmate Payton Leutner. The two preteen attackers stabbed Leutner 19 times in a heavily wooded area near Waukesha, Wisconsin, nearly taking her life, after spending the night with the victim at a birthday sleepover.

After being brutally attacked by Anissa Weier and Geyser (who allegedly did the actual stabbing), Payton Leutner managed to crawl to a bike trail, where she was discovered bloodied and near death by a passing cyclist.

As NBC News reports, Anissa Weier and her alleged accomplice claimed to have stabbed Leutner in order to appease the fictional character Slender Man. The pair claimed that if they didn’t kill for Slender Man, they and their families may be murdered by the nonexistent demon who got its start on Creepy Pasta. If they did kill Leutner, however, they believed they would become “proxies” (aka servants) for the child-reaping imaginary bad guy.

Both pre-teen alleged attempted murderers were charged as adults in the unthinkable Wisconsin crime.

In August, now-15-year-old Weier and her legal team cut a deal with prosecutors allowing to her plead guilty to second-degree intentional homicide while allowing a jury to determine if she was mentally ill (as she and her defense team have argued) at the time of the infamous Slender Man stabbing. In a nutshell, the teen admitted to being a willing participant in nearly stabbing her young classmate to death, but claimed to not have been in her “right mind” during the attack.

This is all despite reportedly having planned the murder of Payton Leutner with friend and co-defendant Morgan Geyser for months before attempting to carry out the crime.

On September 15, a jury determined that Weier was, indeed, mentally ill at the time of the Slender Man stabbing. Because she was found mentally ill, Anissa Weier will now face at least three years in a mental hospital and avoid the potential 10-year prison sentence that would have been on the table if she would have been found not to have been mentally ill. In a courtroom presided over by Judge Michael Bohren, the 12-person jury took 11 hours to reach a verdict in the emotionally charged case.

In order to reach the verdict that Weier was mentally ill at the time of the Slender Man stabbing, jurors were required to answer two questions. First, was Anissa Weier mentally ill? Second, was the then-12-year-old criminally responsible for her actions at the time of the stabbing.

In the end, 10 of 12 jurors voted that Weier was mentally ill (the minimum required by Wisconsin law), and 10 of 12 also voted that she was not criminally responsible for her actions.

According to defense attorney Maura McMahon, Weier (prompted by her parents’ recent divorce) found herself lonely, depressed and, along with Morgan Geyser, descended into “madness” centered around Slender Man. McMahon added that her teen client will be better served by time spent in a Wisconsin mental hospital rather than prison.


“Together they became obsessed with Slender Man, developing a condition called shared delusional disorder, McMahon said. Weier believed Slender Man could read her mind as well as teleport and would kill her or her family if she talked about him….This sounds crazy, because it is. This was a real being to this child and she needed to protect those around her. At 12 years old, she had no way to protect herself from (Slender Man) except for Morgan’s advice and they swirled down into madness together.”

Anissa Weier’s family was relieved by Friday’s verdict in the Slender Man stabbing case, the family of the victim sees the ruling in a much different light. As Fox 6 reports, Payton Leutner’s family is utterly “disappointed” in the verdict handed down by the Wisconsin court. In a statement released by the Leutners, the family of the victim expressed their distress at the fact that Weier will be able to petition the court for her release every six months after her first three years in the mental hospital.

“Their decision also forces our family to relive this horrific crime every six months wondering if they will be released. The potential release of an assailant that methodically planned and executed an attack in which our little girl was stabbed 19 times puts the community and our family at risk. It is deeply disappointing.”

The victim’s family also thanked the District Attorney for the work done on their daughter’s behalf in the Slender Man stabbing case. A spokesperson for the family added that this has been a difficult time for Payton’s family, alluding to the struggles they will have to endure every six months for the foreseeable future.

“It is difficult. It’s difficult for the victim, it’s difficult for the victim’s family. Every six months, they’re going to have to go into the court and ask that she not be released.”

While Anissa Weier has learned her fate with regard to the Slender Man stabbing, her alleged partner in crime is still awaiting her day in court. Morgan Geyser has pleaded “not guilty” to one count of first-degree attempted intentional homicide by reason of mental disease and faces decades in prison if found guilty. Both Geyser and Anissa Weier have confessed that Morgan Geyser did the actual stabbing of Peyton Leutner back in 2014. The second Slender Man stabbing defendant is scheduled to go on trial in October.

[Featured Image by C.T. Kruger /Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP Images]

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