The trial for one of two girls accused of stabbing a former classmate and then leaving her to die is now underway in Waukesha County.
The jury is being asked to decided whether 15-year-old Anissa Weier, one of two girls charged with stabbing Payton Lautner 19 times in 2014, is not guilty due to mental illness. The trial will determine whether Weier is sent to prison or a mental hospital.
Weier and Morgan Geyser were both 12 at the time of the attack and told police that they planned the stabbing to please Slenderman, a fictional horror character made popular online. During opening arguments, defense attorney Joseph Smith told jurors that Weier was delusional in her belief that killing Lautner would help protect her and her family from Slenderman. “The evidence will show that, at the time this occured, Anissa’s broken mind caused her to lose touch with reality,” he said.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Osborne agued it was not mental illness that motivated the attack, but Weier’s fear that not taking part would cause her to lost her friendship with Geyser. “She knew what she was doing was wrong and she did it because wanted something out if it,” he said.
Testimony in the case also began Tuesday, with jurors hearing from members of Weier’s family and former classmates.