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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Michael Sears Zuma Press/PA Images Anissa Weier is one of two teenagers charged with attempting to murder a classmate in 2014.
# Wisconsin
Girl pleads guilty to stabbing friend 19 times in attack inspired by 'Slender Man'
Anissa Weier, who was 12 years old at the time, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted second-degree homicide.

ONE OF TWO girls in the US accused with stabbing a friend inspired by a fictitious internet character pleaded guilty to a reduced attempted homicide charge yesterday in a Wisconsin court.

Anissa Weier, who is now 15 but was 12 years old at the time of the 2014 crime, agreed to plea to a lesser charge of attempted second-degree homicide as party to a crime, with use of a deadly weapon.

She originally faced attempted first-degree intentional homicide. She will stand trial next month to determine if she is legally responsible considering her mental health condition.

She told the court she participated in the attack because she feared the internet character Slender Man – a villain featured on a horror website – would otherwise hurt her and her family, according to US media.

Both she and her alleged accomplice Morgan Geyser are accused of stabbing their friend Payton Leutner 19 times at a park. A bicyclist found Leutner and helped her get to a hospital.

After the attack, the suspect teens told police they were headed to see Slender Man at a national forest hundreds of miles away, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Both defendants have entered an insanity plea.

Should the jury reject the insanity defence for Weier, prosecutors would recommend up to 10 years in prison, according to the paper.

If she is found not guilty due to mental issues, she has agreed not to seek conditional release until July 2020 from a state mental hospital.

The pair are being tried as adults in court, despite protestations from their defence counsel. A judge has ordered that the juries be sequestered, to prevent them being exposed to the details of the case.

Geyser’s lawyer told reporters at the courthouse that a plea deal in her case is also possible.

“I really don’t think there’s a whole lot we’re fighting over in this case,” the Journal Sentinel reported Anthony Cotton as saying.

© AFP 2017

Read: Two teen girls allegedly stabbed their friend 19 times to prove the Slender Man internet meme