Jury: Wisconsin girl mentally ill in stabbing of classmate

Michael Sears

Anissa Weier, left, sits in court Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Waukesha County Court, Waukesha County, Wis. Prosecutors allege that Weier and her friend, Morgan Geyser, lured classmate Payton Leutner into a Waukesha park in May 2014 and stabbed her 19 times. The girls have said it was an effort to to please a fictional horror character known as Slender Man. (Michael Sears//Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin girl who admitted to participating in the stabbing of a classmate to please horror character Slender Man will avoid prison after a jury determined that she was mentally ill at the time of the attack.

Anissa Weier trembled as the jury’s verdict late Friday was read after a week of testimony and some 11 hours of deliberations. She wasn’t available afterward, but her attorney said Weier was relieved and cried following the verdict.

“I’m very thankful to the jurors for taking the time to look at what was really going on with her,” Maura McMahon said, her own eyes wet from crying.

Weier and Morgan Geyser lured classmate Payton Leutner into the woods at a park in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, in 2014. Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, according to investigators. A passing bicyclist found Leutner, who barely survived her wounds. All three girls were 12 at the time.

Both Weier and Geyser told detectives they felt they had to kill Leutner to become Slender Man’s “proxies,” or servants, and protect their families from the demon’s wrath.

Weier, now 15, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide in a deal with…

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