Two doctors believe a 12-year-old Wisconsin girl is not mentally competent to stand trial for repeatedly stabbing a classmate to please a fictional horror character, attorneys said Wednesday.
Morgan Geyser and her friend, 12-year-old Anissa Weier, are charged with stabbing a third friend 19 times in order to appease Slender Man, a popular online character the girls followed.
The two suspects both appeared before the court Wednesday in separate hearings.
Court documents say the girls lured the victim to a wooded area after a May 31 sleepover. One girl held down the victim while the other stabbed her repeatedly in the arms, legs and torso.
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The unnamed victim eventually crawled out of the woods where a passing bicyclist discovered her. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she underwent surgery for wounds to major organs. She was later released and is still recovering, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The two doctors who conducted the competency evaluations on Geyser said the young girl was not able to assist in her own defense. One doctor was hired by prosecutors, and the other was hired by Geyser’s defense attorney, Anthony Cotton.
Cotton said he ordered the independent test to be done because he believed the girl suffered from a mental illness.
"We were seeing things that just didn’t make sense and hearing things that just didn’t make sense,” he told ABC News.
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Geyser and Weier are both being tried as adults in accordance with a Wisconsin law that states anyone over the age of 10 charged with first-degree murder or attempted murder will not be considered a juvenile.
Deputy district attorney Susan Opper asked the judge to order a third evaluation of Geyser to determine if she had mental disease at the time the crime was committed. The Associated Press reports that request could signal the prosecution is preparing for a possible insanity plea.
Waukesha County Judge Michael Bohren granted the request.
Court proceedings are typically halted after a finding of mental incompetence so the defendant can receive treatment before facing a jury. Cotton requested that the proceedings continue, saying he hopes to have the case moved to juvenile court.
"We didn't raise the incompetence issue for strategic reasons," Cotton said. "Our whole goal is to see she gets the help she needs."
Weier’s attorney, Joseph Smith Jr., did not request an independent competency hearing for his client. He said he reserved the right to request one at a later date.
Geyser’s case will come before the court again Aug. 1.