Judge sets April hearing on release request from woman involved in Slender Man attack as a child

Posted at 10:46 AM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-30 11:46:45-05

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A Waukesha County judge will hold a hearing on April 10th and 11th to consider whether to release one of the women involved in the Slender Man stabbing from a mental institution, following a hearing on Monday.

The request came from now 21-year-old Morgan Geyser, who was 14 when she was convicted of stabbing a fellow classmate, 12-year-old Payton Leutner, 19 times. Geyser was 12 at the time of the crime. She and fellow defendant Anissa Weier claimed to have been motivated to the crime by the online horror character Slender Man.

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She appeared in Waukesha County court over Zoom. She softly replied “yes, sir” when Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren asked her if she was able to see and hear the proceedings, and “no, sir” when he asked if she had any questions.

Geyser has now spent more than half of her life in custody. Monday's release request is the third time she has filed one, after having one denied and withdrawing a second petition just last year.

Geyser's attorney, Anthony Cotton, says this time is different.

"We're very optimistic this time around," Cotton said.

He adds Geyser acheived maximum privileges at the institution, like supervised trips, and the ability to read what she likes, and is ready to continue her life in the community.

"There's nothing more she can do at the facility, and that's why I think, at some point, a person doesn't stay committed, forever, especially when they're a child that commits a crime due to a mental illness," Cotton added. "At some point, they have to come out and we think that time's now."

Now, three court-appointed doctors have a month to speak with Geyser and put together a report recommending if she should, or shouldn't, leave the mental health institution.

"This is not a situation where you just walk out the doors and there's no supervision, no control over the person, it's actually a very highly-regulated process," Cotton says.

For that reason, and what Cotton calls Geyser's "remarkable progress," he believes she has a chance.

"I'm very confident that the doctors will support this," Cotton adds.

Geyser was sentenced to 40 years in a mental institution for her role in the 2014 stabbings.

Weier was released from prison in September of 2023. She has since had her GPS monitor removed.