Slender Man stabbing: Morgan Geyser who stabbed Payton Leutner 19 times appeals conviction in adult court
Geyser's attorney has appealed to the state Supreme Court asking for her client's case to be tossed out of adult court as the trial should've taken place in juvenile court as she was 12 at the time
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: In May 2014, two 12-year-old girls from Milwaukee, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser attempted to murder their friend Payton Leutner. They lured her to the woods where Geyser proceeded to stab Payton 19 times while Weier urged the crime on. They left her to die but were caught by the police, walking along the interstate to Nicolet National Forest.
They told police that they needed to kill Payton in order to appease the fictional horror character "Slender Man" who threatened to harm their families if they didn’t do so. Now Geyser’s attorneys have made an appeal to the state Supreme Court this Friday, September 11, to toss out her conviction in adult court, according to an Associated Press report.
Geyser is 18 now and even though she pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree homicide in 2017 to avoid prison, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to 40 years in a mental hospital, according to a CrimeOnline report. Her attorneys are believed to have repeatedly argued that Geyser should have been tried in juvenile court as she was 12 at the time of Payton’s stabbing.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this past Wednesday that Wisconsin’s 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled against Geyser, saying the adult court was the right place for the trial. This is the second time that the court has done so.
Geyser’s attorney, Matthew Pinix, said that he would appeal to the high court, after the ruling. He said his client should have been charged with an attempted second-degree intentional homicide which would have sent the case to juvenile court. "Morgan's fight is not over," Pinix said on Wednesday after the Appeals court ruling. "This case is definitely one that the Wisconsin Supreme Court should decide."
The Associated Press report also stated that Pinix’s petition to the Supreme Court says that Geyser was convinced that Slender Man would kill her or her family if she did not kill Leutner and that the crime was committed in self-defense. He also challenged the use of Geyser’s statements to the police. Pinix argued that her confession was involuntary because she was not capable of an "intelligent, knowing and voluntary" agreement to talk with detectives, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Appeals court chose to not address this issue because they believed that even if there was an error on that front, "such error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt due to the additional, unchallenged and overwhelming evidence in this case."
Payton was left to die in the woods but she managed to survive by crawling to a nearby road where she flagged down a cyclist for help. In an interview with ABC's David Muir for an episode of 20/20 this year, Payton reflected on the trauma that she endured and said that she still struggles to trust her new friends.
"I've come to accept all of the scars that I have," she explained. "It's just a part of me. I don't think much of them. They will probably go away and fade eventually. I'm happy. I have good friends that I trust pretty much."