After their arrest, Ms. Geyser and Ms. Weier said they had stabbed Payton Leutner because they wanted to please Slender Man, a fictional character generally depicted as a tall, shadowy figure with a blank face. They said they believed that Slender Man was real and lived in a mansion in the woods in northern Wisconsin, and that by killing Ms. Leutner, they would become his “proxies.”
On Thursday, Ms. Geyser spoke briefly at her sentencing hearing and began crying as she apologized to Ms. Leutner, referring to her by a nickname.
“I just want to let Bella and her family know I’m sorry,” she said. “I never meant this to happen. And I hope that she’s doing well.”
The crime happened more than three years ago, when Ms. Geyser, Ms. Weier and Ms. Leutner were sixth graders at Horning Middle School in Waukesha. In May 2014, Ms. Geyser and Ms. Weier lured Ms. Leutner into the woods, where Ms. Geyser stabbed her 19 times with a kitchen knife as Ms. Weier urged her on.
“Anissa told her to lie down so she wouldn’t lose blood so quickly, and told her to be quiet,” Ms. Geyser told Judge Bohren, her voice trembling. “And we left.”
Ms. Leutner managed to crawl out of the woods and find an adult. Over the course of several months, she recovered from her injuries and was able to return to school. But doctors said one of the stab wounds had come within a millimeter of an artery whose breach would have killed her.
“If the knife had gone the width of a human hair further, she wouldn’t have lived,” Dr. John Kelemen, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon who operated on her, told ABC News at the time.
In a letter to the judge read in court in December at Ms. Weier’s sentencing, Ms. Leutner’s mother said her daughter would “struggle with the events of that day and physical and emotional scars it left for the rest of her life.”
Anthony D. Cotton, a lawyer for Ms. Geyser, said in a phone interview on Thursday that the sentence was expected. Under Wisconsin law, he noted, commitments to psychiatric facilities can be terminated early if the patient is compliant, so it can make sense for a judge to “impose a larger number and evaluate as time goes on.”
Mr. Cotton said Ms. Geyser’s lawyers intended to petition for her release regularly, “as long as Morgan continues to do well.” He said the team had not yet decided whether to appeal the sentence.
“As long as she takes her medication and follows her orders, she’s certainly well enough to be in a less restrictive setting than inpatient commitment,” he said. “There are services available in a more therapeutic, less restrictive environment that she should be able to take advantage of.”
News credit : Nytimes