One of the two Wisconsin girls convicted of nearly stabbing a classmate to death to gain favor with a fictional horror character is seeking conditional release.
Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier lured classmate Payton Leutner into the woods of Waukesha, Wisconsin following a slumber party in May 2014. Geyser then stabbed Leutner 19 times with a kitchen knife while Weier cheered her, as part the pair’s obsession with a made-up boogeyman known as “Slender Man.”
The three girls were all just 12 years-old.
Leutner barely survived the vicious attack. She spoke with "20/20" about the ordeal in 2019, describing how she got herself up and supported herself on trees before a bicyclist found her falling in and out of consciousness in the park, according to ABC News. The injuries left her in critical condition, with one of the wounds missing her heart by less than a millimeter.
Geyser and Weier were tried as adults.
Geyser, now 20, appeared in a Waukesha County courtroom on Thursday, according to Fox Milwaukee affiliate WITI. It was the first time she faced Judge Michael Bohren since she was sentenced to serve 40 years in a mental health facility. She had pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder but, as part of the plea agreement, was found not guilty by reason of mental disease.
She is currently housed at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute.
The defendant argued she “would not pose a significant risk of bodily harm to herself or others if released under specific conditions,” according to ABC Milwaukee affiliate WISN-TV.
Geyser’s potential release will depend on a court report by doctors, who must be appointed within a 20-day time frame, according to WITI. They will be tasked with assessing Geyser and submitting their findings to the court by late August.
Should they approve Geyser’s bid, the doctors will suggest what conditions should be attached to the defendant’s release, the judge ordered.
“I’m thinking I’d appoint three [doctors],” said Judge Bohren. “One the state-selected, one the defense-selected, and the court will select a third one.”
Following review, Geyser will be afforded a hearing, where parties can examine the doctors’ findings and present arguments to the judge, who will make the final determination.
Should Geyser’s release be denied, she will have another opportunity to petition in six months, according to WITI-TV.
Geyer’s bid mirrors that of co-conspirator Anissa Weier, who confessed to encouraging Geyser throughout the violent stabbing. Weier pleaded guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder as a party to the crime and was sentenced to 25 years in a mental health facility. In July 2021, Judge Bohren accepted Weier’s successful bid for conditional release, finding “no clear and convincing evidence” that Weier continued to be a threat to herself or others.
Weier was required to live with her father while wearing a GPS monitor following her release, according to WITI.
Geyser is scheduled for another hearing on Sept. 12.