Teen in ‘Slender Man’ case pleads not guilty due to mental illness

One of the two teenagers implicated in the so-called “Slender Man stabbing” has pleaded not guilty on the grounds of mental illness. 

In May 2014, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser (then 12 years old) allegedly stabbed a classmate 19 times, leaving her in the woods near their hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin. The victim, Payton Leutner, survived and returned to school the next year, but the local community was rocked by the attack.

The two girls later said they planned the stabbing as an attempt to summon the fictional character Slender Man, a popular meme in creepypasta horror fandom.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren decided last year that both girls would be tried as adults, allowing for the full severity of a first-degree murder charge. This was understandably controversial due to the girls’ delusional belief in Slender Man, along with Geyser’s assertions that she could perform Vulcan mind melds, and the fact that both would otherwise be considered children.

Judge Bohren has appointed two doctors to evaluate Morgan Geyser, who entered her Not Guilty plea on Friday. According to the Wisconsin Journal, experts have already testified in court that she “suffers from schizophrenia and oppositional defiant disorder and maintains relationships with imaginary characters.”

If Geyser is judged to be mentally fit to stand trial, she faces a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor