WAUKESHA, Wis. Prosecutors asked a judge Thursday to sentence a girl to 40 years in a mental hospital for stabbing a classmate in an attack she said was done to please the fictional horror character Slender Man.
After nearly three and a half years, Morgan Geyser, the second of two girls, had her plea agreement accepted in the Slender Man case.
Geyser pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide as a party to a crime. However, the court found her not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect. She faces a maximum of 40 years in a mental institution for stabbing her friend and classmate Payton Leutner.
"Do you want me to find you not guilty by mental illness or defect?" said Judge Michael Bohren.
"Yes sir," said Morgan Geyser.
In order for Bohren to accept her plea, Geyser had to recount the grizzly details of the stabbing in 2014.
"Anissa [Weier] and I took [Payton] into the forest and said we were going to play hide and seek," Geyser said. "Anissa said she couldn't do it and that I had to. I'm sorry."
Through tears, Geyser continued to explain what happened.
"I came up from behind her and jumped on her," Geyser said. "I tackled her and I stabbed her with the knife I had taken from my house earlier that morning. Anissa told her to lie down so she wouldn't lose blood quickly and told her to be quiet and we left."
"You could see how emotional she was," said Anthony Cotton, Geyser's attorney. "It's tough for her to go through that. The hardest step in the case, just the anxiety of reliving those events and recall things is horrendous to her."
Geyser and Anissa Weier carried out the stabbing to appease the fictional character Slender Man. Weier was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in September and Geyser will have a similar outcome. However, Geyser did not go through a jury trial because both the state and defense agreed, she needed to be committed.
"It's a completely fair resolution," Cotton said. "Everybody is happy with it. We think it's the right result."
Cotton says the stigma with mental illness is real and people need to understand, she's not faking this disease.
"We would never say that about a child with Leukemia would we?" Cotton said. "You can see it. You can experience it. We wouldn't accuse the child with Leukemia of faking it but there's a segment of society that accuses someone with a mental health condition of faking it."
Geyser faces up to 40 years in a mental institution. However, before the judge renders a sentence, he requested the doctors to have new reports on Geyser's mental state. They will turn those in on Nov. 13, 2017 and come up with a decision sometime in December.