Slenderman stabbing: Attorneys for Morgan Geyser, Anissa Weier ask that they be tried separately
WAUKESHA COUNTY — Attorneys for Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier — accused of stabbing a classmate 19 times and leaving her for dead, in an effort to appease the fictional character “Slenderman” are asking that each girl be tried separately.
The girls’ attorneys say neither defendant could receive a fair trial if their cases are tried together.
The victim in this case survived.
Geyser’s attorney is also asking the judge to suppress statements Geyser made after the stabbing because of her mental state at the time.
Their attorneys in late August filed a motion for a change of venue — asking that the trial be held in a different county. The motion said the request was being made because “there is, at the very least, a reasonable likelihood that a fair trial cannot be had in Waukesha County.”
Geyser and Weier were 12 years old at the time of the stabbing, in May of 2014.
They are now each charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide.
Geyser’s attorneys have indicated that their client plans to plead not guilty due to a mental disease or defect.
The motion filed for a change of venue cites multiple reasons for the change of venue request including Google Trends. The motion indicates “Google Trends has labeled the ‘Slenderman stabbing’ event” as one that has been trending between August 2015 and August 2016. The paperwork says “This topic has been only 40 percent as popular in the Green Bay-Appleton metropolitan area, and only 20 percent as popular in the Madison metropolitan area.”
The motion also cites law and the severity of the offense as reasons for changing the venue. It concludes by stating, “Because of the volume and bias of media coverage in this case, this Court should grant this motion, and a non-Waukesha County jury should be empaneled.”
A letter from the attorneys of Anissa Weier submitted in late August indicates they will maintain their motion to seek a jury pool from a different county. The letter states, “While change of venue might be appropriate in the case of an adult defendant, it would create significant hardships for a child defendant.” It “would mean moving our client from the center and staff to which and whom she had been accustomed for over two years at the most stressful moment in her life.”
The letter also cautions taking Weier further “from her familial support system and her counselor.”
Lastly, the letter indicates Weier “will also be entering a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.”
The trials of both Geyser and Weier are expected to be held separately — and begin in March or April 2017.