WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - A jury has been selected in southeastern Wisconsin to decide the mental competency of a girl accused of stabbing a classmate in 2014 to please a fictional horror character known as Slender Man.
Twelve jurors and four alternates were selected Monday in the case of 15-year-old Anissa Weier. Opening statements are scheduled Tuesday.
Weier has pleaded not guilty due to mental illness in a stabbing that nearly took the life of classmate Payton Leutner at a Waukesha park when the girls were 12. A second classmate, Morgan Geyser, will go on trial later.
Several potential jurors were dismissed because they said they don't believe in the insanity plea. The jurors will remain anonymous throughout the trial.
"I think by pleading this way, they think they can get off with a lesser punishment," one potential juror said. "They'll be in a nut house for a couple years and then be out again."
"Whatever happens, there ought to be consequences regardless of mental disease or defect," another potential juror said. "Something needs to be done on behalf of the victim."
After lunch, defense attorney Maura McMahon says a young lawyer told her about one potential juror voicing his opinion on the case.
"Coming into the courthouse in the morning [he] heard people coming in saying they were coming for this and it was a waste of their time and they should just lock her up for life," McMahon said.
"Anyone in this group the one who said this? Please be honest. If you feel this, you shouldn't do this. No hands? Thank you."
About a half hour later, the jury was selected.
A plea deal calls for Weier to be committed to a mental hospital for at least three years if she's found to have been mentally ill.