Adult or juvenile court? Decision from judge on Morgan Geyser, Anissa Weier expected Monday
WAUKESHA COUNTY -- 13-year-old Morgan Geyser and 13-year-old Anissa Weier, each facing one felony count of first degree intentional homicide will be in court in Waukesha County on Monday, August 10th -- where a judge will decide whether the girls will be moved to juvenile court, or whether they'll remain charged as adults.
Geyser and Weier are accused of stabbing their friend multiple times on May 31st, 2014 -- and leaving her for dead in the woods in Waukesha. They were 12 years old at the time of the alleged crime.
Crime scene of stabbing in Waukesha
The girls told officials they did it out of allegiance to the fictional character "Slenderman."
The victim survived.
In late May and mid-July respectively, Weier and Geyser were in court for hearings, and mental health experts pushed for juvenile court for the girls -- indicating they'll have more access to the mental health treatment these professionals say they need.
Weier has been locked up in the Washington County secure detention facility — a place with bars, pods and little mental health counseling. Supervisors say she is doing well in school there, but she has shown signs of distress.
FOX6 News has learned Weier had at one time been on suicide watch — and was bullied by others. She apparently only saw a counselor at the Washington County secure detention facility after she was cleared from suicide watch. Officials also say Weier can have no physical contact with her parents or siblings — and that no other child has stayed in that facility as long as Weier. The average stay is roughly 30 days.
“One time she had an emotional breakdown,” Weier's lawyer, Joseph Smith Jr. said.
"This is a young lady who has intellectual capacity. She would be someone who would benefit from the juvenile system, and the adult they give back, the young adult they'd give back, would be someone who would benefit society," Weier's lawyer Maura MacMahon said.
These experts testified to the brain development of young people, and about the girls' mindset at the time of the alleged crime.
For the past year, psychiatrists say Morgan Geyser has had little treatment for her schizophrenia, and no medication for the psychotic hallucinations she experiences and the voices she hears.
Dr. Kenneth Robbins, who’s examined her over that time, says Geyser is even more lost in her imaginary world in her jail cell, than she was when she allegedly stabbed her friend 19 times.
“She continues to believe Slenderman is real. She continues to believe she has ongoing relationships with several characters from the Harry Potter book who come to visit her, whom she feeds and who sometimes sleep over,” said Dr. Kenneth Robbins, psychiatrist.
Dr. Robbins testified if put into an adult prison where treatment and medication was not readily available, Geyser would most likely get even worse, breaking rules and becoming a real problem.
“She’ll face consequences that will have a negative impact on her illness including potentially being in solitary confinement,” said Robbins.
A psychiatrist at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, where Geyser once was, testified for the state. He says Geyser would should not be in prison, saying she needs long-term help.
“What if you were out there in your community? Fairly spontaneously Morgan said ‘if he told me,’ meaning Slenderman, ‘if he told me to hurt more people I’d have to do it. If he told me to break into someone’s home and stab them, I’d have to do it,'” said Kenneth Casimir, psychiatrist.
Casimir said Geyser had strange thoughts as young as when she was in kindergarten, and by the time she was in third grade she was feeling ghosts hug her.
Testimony and recorded interviews with both girls have shown Morgan Geyser to be schizophrenic and Anissa Weier to be afraid Slenderman would kill her family if she did not kill her friend.
Waukesha Slenderman stabbing victim
In adult court, a conviction could mean up to 65 years in prison.
In juvenile court, the charge would carry a lesser penalty of around 12 years behind bars.
There is a motion challenging the Wisconsin law which allows a child so young to be charged as an adult. The defense calls it cruel and unusual. The Attorney General may have a chance to weigh in on that.
The judge is expected to make a decision regarding adult vs. juvenile court on Monday, August 10th.