One of the teenagers who was involved in the stabbing of a classmate in order to appease the fictional horror character “Slenderman” has been granted conditional release by a Wisconsin judge.
Anissa Weier, 19, appeared before the Waukesha County Circuit Court on Thursday where she was granted the conditional release after spending over 3.5 years at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute.
The teenager was 12 years old when she and classmate Morgan Geyser nearly killed Peyton Leutner after they lured the girl into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. When speaking to police, the teenagers said they committed the gruesome crime to appease Slenderman.
In August 2017, Weier pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide for the 2014 stabbing, but she claimed she wasn’t responsible for her action due to a mental illness.
A jury agreed, and Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren sentenced the teenager to 25 years in a mental institution – the maximum penalty for the crime.
Now that same judge has granted Weier a conditional release following more than three years in the facility.
Weier was not immediately released following the decision. Instead, a conditional release plan will be developed with a hearing scheduled in September.
This plan would likely involve Weier being assigned case managers who would provide the teenager with services that would allow her to be a “successful and productive” participant in society.
But it would also entail Weier being monitored for the rest of her sentence, until she is 37 years old. If she violated the terms, her conditional release would be revoked.
Weier had to wait until after serving three years of her sentence before she could apply for conditional release, which was one of the terms of her 2017 plea deal.
Wisconsin’s conditional release program was created to provide support to people living with mental illness who committed a crime. Most of the participants, like Weier, have committed a felony, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Weier and Geyser confessed to luring their classmate to a wooded park in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb, in 2014. Geyser was responsible for stabbing the classmate 19 times while Weier reportedly urged it on, authorities said.
They told authorities that they felt they needed to perform the action as “proxies” of Slenderman in order to protect their families. Ms Leutner survived the stabbing and was able to crawl out of the wooded area to later be found by a bicyclist.
All of them were 12 years old at the time.
Geyser was sentenced to 40 years, the maximum, at a mental health facility for her involvement in the stabbing. Her plea deal with prosecutors allows her to apply for conditional release every six months, but she has yet to do so.
When speaking to ABC’s 20/20 in 2019, Ms Leutner said she did not fear the two teenagers being eventually released.
“If they ever come near me they’re going right back in,” she said. “When they get out I don’t think it’s going to change my life at all.”
But Ms Leutner has sent letters to the court about the physical and emotional scars that remain following the stabbing.
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