Weier also enters insanity plea

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Two new developments have cropped up recently in the long-running Slender Man case, in which two Waukesha girls are accused of trying to a murder a third to appease a fictional internet horror character.

Attorneys for both girls have asked that a non-Waukesha County jury be impaneled should the case ultimately proceed to trial. Defense attorneys representing Morgan Geyser argued in a "change of venue" motion that media coverage of the case could prejudice any local jury and thus violate their client's right to a fair and impartial trial.

Additionally, one of the attorneys representing Anissa Weier, public defender Maura McMahon, recently informed the court that her client is changing her not guilty plea to a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, commonly referred to as an "NGI" or insanity plea.

Both developments come just days after Geyser, who suffers from early onset schizophrenia, entered her insanity plea during an Aug. 25 hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court, and less than a month after the state Court of Appeals ruled both girls' cases should remain in adult court.

Geyser and Weier stand accused of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors say the girls plotted for months to murder their then-12-year-old friend and sixth-grade classmate Peyton Leutner and stabbed her 19 times in May 2014 near David's Park in Waukesha, then left her for dead.

The plot was allegedly carried out to impress or assuage Slender Man, who the girls believed might harm them or their families if they didn't follow through, according to a criminal complaint.

With an insanity plea, a defendant is generally arguing that some mental disease or defect inhibited them from appreciating the wrongfulness of their actions when they committed a crime. Someone found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect is typically committed to a state mental hospital for treatment.

Online court records indicate both girls are being held at a juvenile detention facility in West Bend. Their next joint hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13 in front of Judge Michael Bohren.

A trial date has not been set.

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