Court denies appeal of girl convicted in Slender Man attack

Morgan Geyser, 18, is appealing her conviction of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in Waukesha County.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 10:21 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld the conviction of one of the girls in the Slender Man stabbing case.

Morgan Geyser, 18, is appealing her conviction of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in Waukesha County.

Geyser and Anissa Weier were 12 when they lured friend Payton Leutner into some woods near Waukesha with the intent to kill her. It happened during a sleepover party for Geyser’s birthday in 2014. Payton, then 12, was stabbed 19 times and left for dead. She crawled out of the woods and survived. The story grabbed international headlines when it was revealed the motive for the attack was to court favor with a fictional horror character named Slender Man.

In 2017, Geyser entered a plea to avoid trial. However, she appealed her conviction, claiming errors made in the lead up to the plea may have helped her fair better in trial. “She certainly would have done no worse,” reads the appeal.

Court of Appeals District II denied Geyser’s appeal that the circuit court erred during the case. “With this statement, Geyser ignores the benefits she gained through her plea and the risks she faced if she did not enter it.”

Geyser’s attorneys claimed the court erred in binding then then 12-year-old over to “adult court.” They claimed the cause should have been in juvenile court. The appeals court disagreed.

Geyser also fought to suppress statements made to a detective after the stabbing attack. In those statement, Geyser told Detective Thomas Casey that she and co-defendant Anissa Weier had planned the attack on their friend for months and were planning to kill Payton during the sleepover party.

In Geyser’s appeal, she claimed she did not knowingly or voluntarily waive her Miranda rights before giving the statements and claimed they were “unconstitutionally procured.” The appeals court stated that even if the court made a mistake “such error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt due to the additional unchallenged and overwhelming evidence in this case.”

Geyser was found “Guilty but Not Guilty Due to Mental Disease or Defect” and ordered to a state mental health facility for no more than 40 years. During sentencing, a psychologist testified that Geyser has a high IQ, but also suffers from schizophrenia that could last through her lifetime.

Anissa Weier was found “Guilty but Not Guilty Due to Mental Disease/Defect” for a charge of Attempted 2nd Degree Intentional Homicide and sentenced to 25 years in the custody of the Department of Health Services.

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