A pair of 13-year-old Wisconsin girls will be prosecuted as adults in the attempted killing of a classmate after a sleepover last year, a judge ruled yesterday after finding that moving their case to juvenile court would “unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren said defense lawyers had failed to convince him that the cases should be moved to juvenile court, where the girls would face only three years of incarceration and extensive supervision until age 18. “This court continues to be concerned with what happens after age 18,” Bohren said. “There has to be assurance to the public — and to these defendants as well — that a serious offense has to be dealt with on a serious basis that offers protection to everyone.”
State law required that the girls, who were 12 at the time, be charged and prosecuted as adults, which could expose them to 45-year prison sentences. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier are charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the May 31, 2014, attack on Payton Leutner after a sleepover at Geyser’s house to mark her 12th birthday. A bicyclist found Leutner bleeding from 19 stab wounds in a park. Though she suffered serious internal injuries, Leutner recovered in time to start seventh grade last fall. Geyser and Weier told police they were trying to impress or appease Slender Man, a fictional Internet character they believed could kill them or their families if they didn’t kill their friend. They hoped to join Slender Man in his mansion in the Nicolet National Forest.