Two Wisconsin girls who were 12 when prosecutors say they tried to kill their sixth-grade classmate are properly charged as adults, the state’s Court of Appeals ruled yesterday, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The court affirmed a trial judge’s ruling that Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier had failed to show, “by a preponderance of evidence,” that they should be transferred from adult court to juvenile court. The appeals court said, “We will not overturn a circuit court’s discretionary determination if the record reflects that discretion was exercised; instead, we will seek out reasons to sustain the decision.”
Angie Geyser said the opinion misstated that her daughter, diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia, refuses medication. She has developed insight into her illness and wants to continue on the path to recovery,” Angie Geyser said. “Keeping her in the adult system, with the possibility of eventually ending up incarcerated in an adult prison, will do nothing but ensure that this does not happen.” Geyser and Weier, now 14, were charged as adults with luring a classmate to the woods May 31, 2014, after a sleepover and stabbing her 19 times before leaving her for dead. The victim, Payton Leutner, managed to crawl near a path, where she was found by a passing bicyclist. Both girls told police they were trying to either impress or avoid the wrath of Slender Man, a fictional internet boogeyman the girls said they believed would harm them or their families if they didn’t kill their friend. The crime made headlines around the world. Defense attorneys tried to have the cases transferred to juvenile court, but Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren denied their motions after lengthy hearings.