One of two girls facing trial for stabbing a classmate as a sacrifice to Slender Man has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Anissa Weier, 15, entered her plea Monday to one count of second-degree attempted homicide as an accomplice, with use of a deadly weapon. Initially, she faced an attempted first-degree intentional homicide charge in the vicious stabbing of Payton Leutner in 2014.
All three girls were 12 at the time.
Weier and Morgan Geyser had lured Leutner into the woods after a sleepover and then stabbed her 19 times to appease “Slender Man,” a fictitious horror figure who preys on children, authorities said.
Geyser has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease. Her attorney, Anthony Cotton, declined comment Monday, saying it would be inappropriate to talk about Weier’s plea deal. His client intends to go to trial, he said.
Weier talked at length Monday to Judge Michael Bohren in Wisconsin’s Waukesha County Circuit Court.
“I believed that if I didn’t go through with it, Slender Man would come and attack and kill myself, my friends and my family,” she said. “Those I cared about the most.”
The girl said she told Geyser she couldn’t go through with the attack, and didn’t want to stab Leutner.
Geyser then asked “whether or not she should do it,” as they walked through the woods, Weier told the judge.
“I just wanted it over with, so I said, ‘Go do what you have to do,’ and Peyton was then hurt.”
How was she hurt? the judge asked.
“Morgan jumped on top of her and stabbed her repeatedly,” Weier said.
Weier’s plea deal means her trial next month, which focuses on her mental health, will decide whether she is legally responsible for the crime or not guilty due to mental illness. If she is found guilty, she could face 10 years in prison. If she is deemed the latter, she will spend three years in a mental hospital.