'Slender Man' juror blames parents for tragic stabbing

Posted at 4:46 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 00:40:58-04

One of ten jurors who determined Anissa Weier was mentally ill when she participated in the stabbing of a classmate said the parents of all three girls involved bear responsibility for the tragedy.

"I wish we could have put the parents on trial, unfortunately we can't," the juror said Monday. "I do think the parents failed them, I think the teachers failed them, I think in general society failed these girls."

 Weier and classmate Morgan Geyser admit luring their friend Payton Leutner into a Waukesha park in 2014. Investigators determined Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier watched.
All three girls were 12 years old at the time.
After a week of testimony and 11 hours of deliberation, the jury determined Weier should be sent to a mental institution instead of prison. Now 15, Weier pleaded guilty in August to second-degree intentional homicide for the attack.
A total of 12 jurors heard evidence last week in a Waukesha County courtroom, but only ten needed to agree on a verdict.
It was a process the juror said was driven by cool discussion and absent of emotion.
"There was no emotion in the discussion, it was very level headed," the juror said. "There were no voices raised."
TODAY'S TMJ4 is not identifying the juror out of an abundance of caution after potentially threatening comments about the jury were posted on social media.
In their deliberations, the jury had specific questions about what Anissa Weier told investigators and when certain things were said.
To better establish a timeline, jurors asked to see a video of interrogation in its entirety.
"The defense is showing us very specific things they want us to see," the juror said. "Are they taking things out of context?"
Through their viewing of that video, jurors were able to determine a key statement made by Weier came at the beginning of her comments to investigators.
"I think the quote was 'I didn't know we were in danger until Morgan told me after,'" the juror said. "We thought she had said that toward the end of the interview. We didn't realize that was one of the first things she said."
Most powerful, the juror said, was the testimony of medical experts.
They painted the picture of a disturbed young girl who followed Morgan Geyser's lead. Their portrayal of Weier's mental state was made more credible by their independence.
"The first two doctors, we thought they were completely unbiased. They weren't hired by the defense, they weren't hired by the prosecution, they were appointed by the court," the juror said.
While Peyton Leutner's family has been critical of the verdict, this juror deflected blame back to the victim's parents.
The juror said the Leutners could have rejected any attempt to strike a plea agreement.
"The family was the ones who agreed to this. They had agreed to the plea deal. They approved it for both the girls," the juror said.
After a week of sequestration, jurors emerged from the courthouse late Friday to hear mixed reactions to their work.
Comments on social media read by this juror were critical of their verdict and occasionally threatening.
"Seeing some of the comments, it's tough," the juror said. "We knew one way or the other we were going to be unpopular. When you see it, it kind of sinks in."