Judge orders separate trials for girls in Slender Man case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A judge has ordered separate trials for two Wisconsin girls accused of trying to kill a classmate to please a fictional horror character called Slender Man.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren announced his ruling Monday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  reports Bohren ordered separate trials for 14-year-old Morgan Geyser and 15-year-old Anissa Weier after learning both defense teams and prosecutors agreed that a joint trial could pose legal risks.

Both girls were 12 when prosecutors say they stabbed classmate Payton Leutner 19 times in a Waukesha park following a sleepover in 2014. Payton survived. The victim was left to crawl to her rescue, and she was taken to a hospital after a passing bicyclist found her, police said.

Geyser and Weier have pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease to attempted homicide charges in adult court.