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Morgan Geyser, one of two girls on trial for stabbing a classmate in 2014 to appease fictional character Slender Man, must serve 40 years under state mental health supervision.
Geyser was sentenced Thursday after a daylong hearing including testimony from psychologists and social workers. Before the sentencing Geyser worked through tears to express remorse for her actions and to the family of the victim.
The 15-year-old Geyser stabbed classmate Payton Leutner 19 times as friend Anissa Weier urged her on, leaving her for dead in the woods of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Both girls were 12 at the time. Leutner survived, but the attempted murder was apparently a pre-meditated offering to Slender Man, a fictional boogeyman that originated in an online forum in 2009. A psychiatrist hired by Geyser’s attorneys had previously testified that she believed she could communicate telepathically with Slender Man. During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Dr. Kenneth Robbins said her mental state had improved due to medications, but admitted she still had auditory hallucinations.
Weier was given the maximum sentence of 25 years in a mental hospital in December, after being found not guilty of attempted second-degree homicide in September on grounds of mental illness. Geyser also pleaded guilty on similar grounds, having been diagnosed as schizophrenic.
Geyser will initially be under the supervision of a mental health facility but can petition for less restrictive care in six months. She also has the right to an appeal.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.