One of the two Wisconsin girls who stabbed a classmate 19 times to appease the fictional online character “Slenderman” sobbed in court on Thursday as she recounted the 2014 attack during a hearing that ended with the 15-year-old pleading guilty to attempted homicide.
Morgan Geyser was committed to a state mental hospital following Thursday’s plea, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The teen has been receiving treatment at the same state facility for the last two years.
Geyser accepted a plea deal from prosecutors. Under the terms of the deal, she will avoid prison, the paper reports.
In August, Geyser’s co-defendant, Anissa Weier, also admitted her role in the attack, pleading guilty to attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime with use of a deadly weapon. She, too, was committed to a mental hospital.
In May of 2014, when they were 12, Weier and Geyser lured Payton Leutner, also 12 at the time, to a woods, telling her they wanted to play hide and seek. It was there that Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on.
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Both Weier and Geyser told detectives they felt they had to kill Leutner as part of an effort to become Slenderman’s servants — which they believed would protect their families from the demon’s wrath. They were both charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide and initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect.
Leutner survived the attack. She was found by a passing cyclist on a bike path of a local park, fighting for her life and begging for help.
On Thursday, Geyser told Judge Michael Bohren about the attack in vivid detail, according to CBS News.
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“Anissa and I took in the forest and said that we were going to play hide and seek,” Geyser said, crying. “Anissa said that she couldn’t do it and that I had to.”
CBS reports she then told Bohren: “I tackled her. I stabbed her.”
When asked where she stabbed Leutner, Geyser said: “Everywhere.” When asked how many times she stabbed the victim, Geyser said, “19.”
Then, “Anissa told her to lie down so she wouldn’t lose blood so quickly, and told her to be quiet, and we left,” Geyser said.
Prosecutors asked a judge Thursday to sentence Geyser to 40 years in a mental hospital, according to NBC News. The girl will undergo a doctor’s evaluation by Nov. 13, and a sentencing hearing will be scheduled for a later date.
Geyser’s attorneys have argued in court documents that she suffers from schizophrenia and psychotic spectrum disorder, making her prone to delusions and paranoid beliefs.
CBS reports that a psychiatrist hired by the defense testified Geyser believed she could communicate telepathically with Slenderman and could even see and hear other fictional characters, including Harry Potter and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She also allegedly believed she had “Vulcan mind control.”
Leutner’s family issued a statement saying they were happy to avoid a trial.
“Though we do not believe that an institution is where these attempted murderers belong, the current legal system does not favor victims in this situation,” the statement said.
“We wish to thank the District Attorney and her team in their efforts. They have assisted our family throughout the process. With this closure, our daughter is a heroic survivor — and no longer a victim.”