NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 3, 2014

Judge orders exam for stabbing suspect, 12

WAUKESHA, Wis. — A judge yesterday ordered an examination for whether mental disease or disorder will be an issue in trial for one of two 12-year-old girls charged with trying to kill a classmate in a bizarre quest to please a fantasy character named Slender Man.

At the hearing, it was revealed that two doctors who have already interviewed Morgan Geyser have concluded she is not legally competent to proceed with her trial.

Prosecutors then took the unusual step of asking to move forward now with a further examination over whether mental disease or defect could be her ultimate basis for a not guilty plea in the case.

Her attorney, Anthony Cotton, objected, saying no plea has been entered and a preliminary hearing has not yet been held.

Nonetheless, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren ordered the examination.

Geyser’s co-defendant, Anissa E. Weier, also appeared briefly yesterday. Her defense attorney, public defender Joseph Smith, requested 30 days to examine discovery materials prosecutors brought forward. Bohren set a status hearing for Aug. 1 for Weier and a competency hearing for Geyser also on Aug. 1.

Both girls appeared in court handcuffed in jail garb with their heads down.

When juveniles are charged as adults, the preliminary hearing becomes a critical component of another hearing, called a reverse waiver, when attorneys for young defendants argue that the case should be tried in juvenile court.

Attorneys for both girls reiterated yesterday that such a transfer is their ultimate goal in the case.

Geyser and Weier are charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in a May 31 attack on a third girl in the woods near a Waukesha park the day after all three girls had a sleepover to celebrate Geyser’s birthday.

All three attend Horning Middle School in Waukesha. The victim, who has not been identified publicly, suffered 19 stab wounds but has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

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