The two teenage girls accused of nearly stabbing their 12-year-old classmate to death in May 2014 in an attempt to please a fictional, internet horror character were properly charged as adults and their cases will remain in adult court, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.
The decision comes in light of attempts by attorneys for Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both 14, to have their clients' cases "reverse waivered" back to juvenile court, and upholds a ruling from a Waukesha County Circuit judge who previously determined Geyser and Weier's cases should remain in adult court.
"The circuit court properly 'examined the relevant facts, applied a proper standard of law and (used) a demonstrated rational process' to reach a reasonable discretionary decision to retain adult jurisdiction," the Court of Appeals decision said in its ruling.
Geyser and Weier were charged in June 2014 with attempted first-degree intentional homicide after allegedly plotting to murder their then 12-year-old friend and classmate Payton Leutner for months in an attempt to appease a fictitious internet horror character named Slender Man. The plan reportedly came to fruition May 31, when Leutner was stabbed 19 times by Geyser and left for dead by the girls near David's Park, along Waukesha's south side, but was found by a passing biker and ultimately survived the ordeal.
Last August, Judge Michael Bohren denied requests to transfer the cases back to juvenile court on the basis that such an action would "unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense."
"The offense involved in this case was violent, was premeditated," Bohren said at the time. "There was a conscious decision at the time of the offense to let the victim die. This was premeditated murder and an attempt to do so."
The penalties facing Geyser and Weier differ vastly, depending on which court adjudicates their cases. If convicted in the adult court, the girls could face decades in prison; and if ruled delinquent in juvenile court, they could be incarcerated for up to three years then subjected to intensive community supervision and treatment until age 18.
However, the girls would serve the first years of any sentence and treatment, whether they are convicted as adults or juveniles, at Copper Lake School for Girls, according to testimony referenced in the Court of Appeals decision.
Both girls are currently being held at a juvenile detention facility in West Bend, court records show.
Geyser's attorney, Anthony Cotton, has more than once tried to have Geyser moved into different facilities which he argued would be better suited to treat his client's early onset schizophrenia.
The next hearing for both girls in Waukesha County Circuit Court is scheduled for Aug. 19.