site in Waukesha, Wis., where a bicyclist found a
12-year-old girl who had 19 stab wounds is seen in
this Tuesday, June 3, 2014, file photo. A Wisconsin
judge is deciding whether one of two 12-year-old girls
accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fictional
online horror character is mentally fit to stand
— A Wisconsin judge is expected to decide Wednesday
whether the second of two 12-year-old girls charged with
stabbing a classmate to please the fictional horror
character Slender Man is fit to stand trial.
say the two girls plotted for months to kill their classmate
before luring the child to a wooded park after a sleepover
in Waukesha, west of Milwaukee, and stabbing her 19 times.
Payton Leutner survived by crawling from the woods to a
sidewalk where a bicyclist found her and called 911.
law requires suspects who are at least 10 years old to be
charged as adults in severe crimes. Attorneys for the girls
arrested in the stabbing have said they will try to get
their clients' cases moved back to juvenile court. The
Associated Press is not naming the girls while their cases
could still be moved.
County Judge Michael Bohren ordered one of the girls to
receive mental health treatment after a court-appointed
psychologist testified in August that the girl claims to see
and hear things that others cannot — including unicorns,
Slender Man and Voldemort, an antagonist in the Harry Potter
series. A hearing on her condition is set for Nov. 12.
girl's public defender told Bohren last month that a
psychologist hired by her defense questioned the girl's
competency, raising concerns about whether she would be able
to help with her defense. Bohren ordered a second exam to be
done by a court-appointed psychologist. The results of that
could be discussed Wednesday.
this Aug. 1, 2014 file photo, one of the two girls
accused of stabbing another girl is led into the
courtroom during court proceedings at Waukesha County
Court in Waukesha, Mich. A Wisconsin judge is deciding
whether one of two 12-year-old girls accused of
stabbing a classmate to please a fictional online
horror character is mentally fit to stand trial.
attorneys have questioned whether they would receive
appropriate care in the adult system, which is not designed
Freiburger, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor
who has studied the juvenile system, said it might not be
much better. Most children who end up in the juvenile court
system have been truant, missed a curfew or were involved in
a minor crime. The Slender Man case is rare in its violence,
we don't have a lot of 12-year-olds going out and committing
crimes like this," Freiburger said. "That's a good
thing. But then the bad thing is that when we have it
happen, we don't have a system in place to really deal with
done in multiple states have found more than half of the
children charged as adults have some type of mental illness,
she said. But she wasn't aware of any research that compared
the mental health care provided to children in the adult
system to that in the juvenile system to see which was more
criminal justice experts have called for programs
specifically for children charged as adults because of the
mental illness, levels of violence and long criminal
histories that often mark those cases, Freiburger said.