On Thursday, 16-year-old Anissa Weier was sentenced for her role in the horrific “Slender Man stabbing,” a crime that rocked America due to the ages of both the victim and suspected perpetrators. The so-called Slender Man stabbing took place in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 2014 and involved 12-year-old classmates, Weier and Morgan Geyser. The duo allegedly lured their friend, 12-year-old Payton Leutner, to a heavily wooded park where Geyser stabbed the pre-teen at least 19 times while Anissa Weier cheered her on, then left her for dead.
A badly injured Leutner then dragged herself out of the woods, where she was found by a bicyclist. Investigators would later learn that Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser had planned the attack for months. The girls claimed to have been trying to kill Payton Leutner in an attempt to please the fictional character “Slender Man,” who popped up and rose to internet notoriety virtually overnight and by way of memes and fan fiction and art known as Creepy Pasta. As Fox News reports, both girls believed that if they didn’t kill Payton for Slender Man and become his “proxies,” the safety of themselves and their families would be at risk.
Back in August, Slender Man stabbing suspect Anissa Weier pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, but claimed not to be responsible for the role she played in the crime due to mental illness. In September, a jury agreed, sparing Weier prison time and guaranteeing that she would serve out her sentence at a mental health facility instead.
On December 21, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren hit Anissa Weier with the maximum possible sentence for her unthinkable crime; 25 years in a psychiatric institution. The blow was softened somewhat when the attempted murderer was given credit for time already served (retroactive back to the date of the original Slender Man stabbing, as Weier has been in custody since her arrest in 2014).
Prior to her sentencing, Weier’s defense team had argued that their client, who didn’t actually wield the knife in the Slender Man stabbing, shouldn’t be forcibly institutionalized beyond her 25th birthday. With her 25-year retroactive sentence, Anissa Weier won’t be released from the mental facility until she’s 37-years-old.
Before she was sentenced, Weier was given the opportunity to address the court. She used the time to apologize.
“I do hold myself accountable for this and that I will do whatever I have to do to make sure I don’t get any sort of delusion or whatever again. I want everybody involved to know I deeply regret everything that happened that day. I know that nothing I say is going to make this right and nothing I say is going to fix what I broke.”
Despite Weier’s seemingly sincere apology, a statement from the family of the victim appears to have made an even bigger impact on the court. Written by Payton Leutner’s mother, the letter claimed that the 2014 Slender Man stabbing “has defined our lives,” adding that her daughter still lives in fear for her life.
“She will struggle with the events of that day and physical and emotional scars it left for the rest of her life.”
Anissa Weier has finally learned her fate following the part she played in the Slender Man stabbing, but her accomplice, Morgan Geyser, will not be sentenced until February, 2018. Earlier this year, Geyser, who has admitted to being the one who stabbed Leutner 19 times in 2014, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Her plea deal stipulated that, like Weier, she wasn’t criminally responsible for her actions due to her mental state at the time of the stabbing, and that she would not be sentenced to prison time.
Prosecutors have asked the court to sentence Morgan Geyser to at least 40 years in a mental health facility for her role in the Slender Man stabbing.