Anissa Weier: Teen in Slender Man stabbing to be on 24-hour watch after release
Weier will be released from the Winnebago Mental Health Institute on Sept 13. She was granted conditional release from the facility in July
Anissa Weier, the 19-year-old who is at a Wisconsin mental health facility over the 'Slender Man' stabbing is set to be released. Waukesha County Judge Michael Bohren ruled on September 10 that the teen can be released from the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, but subject to constant GPS monitoring. The verdict came months after Weier launched a petition for conditioned release, claiming she had exhausted all her treatment options at the facility.
In 2014, Weier and friend Morgan Geyser stabbed their classmate Payton Leutner 19 times, after luring her to the forest in a bid to please 'Slender Man', the fictional horror character. While Leutner narrowly escaped with her life, the attack left a lasting impression and led to trouble sleeping alone, as we reported in July 2021. While Weier will walk out decades ahead of her originally planned release, Geyser is still committed at a facility, and may not be released despite appeals.
As both Weier and Geyser were just 12 when they attacked Leutner, the case quickly gained national attention. In December 2017, Bohren sentenced Weier to 25 years in a mental health facility, after she was found not criminally responsible by a jury. However, just four years later, she began to petition for her release, telling Bohren "I am not saying I am done with treatment. I am saying that I have exhausted all the resources available to me at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute." That kick-started a process that will now end with her conditioned release.
Conditions for Weier's release
Weier first filed a letter for her release on March 10, adding "If I am to become a productive member of society, I need to be a part of society." In July, Bohren ruled that Weier could be released, saying she no longer poses a threat to society. He ordered state officials to draw up a plan for her release, which was finalized on August 30. That led to the September 10 hearing, where Bohren confirmed the conditions for Weier's release.
For one, Weier will have to wear a GPS monitoring tag until "the agent supervising her release determines otherwise." That decision can only be made after prior notification to the court. She will also move in and live with her father, at an address that will be kept confidential for her safety. She is also not to have any contact with Leutner and is expected to follow all the doctor's orders. Furthermore, Weier will reportedly be under community supervision till she is 37 years old, the age she would have been had she served out her full 25-year sentence.
The judge approved Weier's release after reviewing her files from the health institute, which said Weier was "cooperative with the treatment personnel" and "expressed an understanding of the offense." He also noted that she hasn't exhibited any dangerous behavior since her admission, and has never been administered any psychotic medication. "I'm satisfied it's reasonable. It provides good protections as far as the community is concerned. It also provides a good plan for rehabilitation for Miss Weier, so I will approve the plan," Bohren said at the hearing.
Family members have chosen not to comment on the ruling. Weier's attorney Maura A. McMahon said, "She looks forward to moving on to a productive life." Leutner's family too chose not to make a statement, but they were reportedly present in court and did not object to the conditions.