Girl, 12, accused in Slender Man stabbing subject of competency hearing
Victim of brutal stabbing, 12, out of hospital and recovering at home: family
A judge on Wednesday ordered a competency hearing for one of two Wisconsin pre-teen girls accused of stabbing a friend to please the fictional internet character Slender Man after experts deemed her mentally incompetent to proceed with her defence.
Two doctors concluded that one of the 12-year-old girls involved in the attack was incompetent, according to the results of mental evaluations disclosed in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Both girls have been charged as adults with first-degree attempted homicide, though lawyers for the girls say the case could wind up back in juvenile court. They stand accused of luring a classmate into a park and stabbing her 19 times in late May in Waukesha, a western suburb of Milwaukee.
- Who is the so-called Slender Man?
- 'Slender Man' attack: Accused girls had good upbringing, neighbours say
The stabbing victim, whose identity has not been released, survived. After spending six days in hospital, she’s now recovering at home, her family said.
The accused girl deemed mentally incompetent was the subject of competency exams asked for by both prosecutors and her family. Full details of the evaluations are sealed.
Judge Michael Bohren ordered a competency hearing for the girl on Aug. 1, at the request of prosecutors. Bohren also sought another examination that focuses on her mental state at the time of the alleged stabbing, her attorney Anthony Cotton said.
Cotton said he believes it would be appropriate for the case to be moved to juvenile court, away from the media and public.
"This is all part of the process, looking at the mental health, looking at her functioning competency and issues like that," Cotton told reporters afterward.
Wisconsin law requires attempted homicide cases involving suspects at least 10-years-old to begin in adult court before attorneys can ask a judge to move the case to juvenile court.
The girls face up to 60 years in prison if convicted as adults of attempted homicide. They could be incarcerated to age 25 if they are convicted as juveniles under Wisconsin law.
Both girls told investigators they stabbed the girl to impress Slender Man, a tall, fictional bogeyman popular on the internet that they insisted was real, according to a criminal complaint.
The other accused girl’s attorney, Joseph Smith, has not sought a competency exam, but told reporters on Wednesday he believes it is a key issue and part of the focus in getting the case moved to juvenile court.
A status hearing for Smith’s client, who also appeared in court on Wednesday, was set for Aug. 1.