Judge grants release in Slender Man case

·2 min read

The 12-year-old who stabbed her classmate in 2014 to please the fictional Slender Man character will be released from the state mental health facility after three-and-a-half years in custody, a judge ordered Thursday. State officials have 60 days to prepare a release plan for Anissa Weier, now 19, according to the Associated Press.

Weir had petitioned for conditional release, which was granted by the judge Thursday, according to CBS affiliate CBS 58. As part of the release conditions, she will be supervised by both corrections department and mental health officials.

Weier and Morgan Geyser, then 12, were convicted of the Waukesha, Wisconsin stabbing of Payton Leutner, also 12 at the time.

Anissa Weier seen in court. / Credit: MICHAEL SEARS/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Pool via Getty Images
Anissa Weier seen in court. / Credit: MICHAEL SEARS/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Pool via Getty Images

Psychologists said that the pair suffered from shared delusional disorder that led them to believe they had to kill Leutner, who survived the attack, or else Slender Man would kill them and their families. During the 2017 trial, Weier struck a deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, but also pleaded not guilty due to mental illness or defect, which set up the trial on her mental status. She was sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital.

Weier, now 19, successfully petitioned for conditional release dependent on her mental state, behavior and plan for release, among other factors. Weier's legal team stated that she would plan to live with her father and pursue higher education.

"The court does not find that there is clear and convincing evidence that Anissa Weier poses a significant threat of bodily harm to herself or others or of serious property damage," Judge Michael Bohren said in court. "On that basis, then, I'll grant the petition for conditional release."

Maura McMahon, Weier's attorney, told reporters her client "was happy" with the hearing's results.

"She wants to make sure she continues improving and moving forward and getting more insight and getting to a great place of health," McMahon said.

Weier had progressed greatly during her time at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, McMahon said.

She will stay at the Winnebago Mental Health Institution until her next court date, September 10, when a judge is expected to approve the conditional release plan that her team has laid out, including details on supervision and continued treatment.

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