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Judge approves mental evaluation request in stabbing case

A 12-year-old who allegedly stabbed another girl 19 times will be mentally evaluated to determine whether she is competent to proceed to trial, a Waukesha County Court commissioner ruled Wednesday.

Morgan Geyser will be evaluated by the Wisconsin Forensic Unit within the next 15 days. Her attorney, Anthony Cotton of Kuchler & Cotton SC, Waukesha, requested the evaluation during a hearing Wednesday, telling Waukesha County Court Commissioner Laura Lau that he has a “reason to believe there are issues with her competency.”

The results of Geyser’s evaluation will be discussed at a July 2 hearing. The results of the exam will be sealed, though, per Lau’s order.

A similar request was not made for Geyser’s co-defendant, 12-year-old Anissa Weier. However, her attorney, Assistant State Public Defender Joseph Smith Jr., told Lau that “could become an issue down the road.”

Both girls are facing attempted murder charges for repeatedly stabbing another preteen. According to a criminal complaint, the girls had been planning to kill their friend for months and were trying to become “proxies” of Slender Man, a mythological character they learned about on a website about horror stories and legends.

Both girls are being held at the West Bend Juvenile Detention Center on $500,000 bond. During Wednesday’s hearing, both appeared in jumpsuits and shackles, and were in the courtroom for about five minutes each before again being escorted away.

They each face up to 65 years in prison if convicted.

Smith told Lau that he filed a motion Wednesday requesting discovery prior to Weier’s preliminary hearing. A hearing date for that motion has not yet been set, though a status conference in the case will also be held July 2.

Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney Susan Opper said during the hearing, though that she doesn’t “want to get too far ahead of the other case.”

Wisconsin law requires prosecutors to charge children 10 and older as adults in severe cases. Cotton has said he will try to get his client’s case moved to juvenile court, where more support and mental health services are available.

On Wednesday, though, he said he had not yet decided whether to file a motion to move it.

“It’s something that we’re thinking about every day,” Cotton said.

Smith, though, said he would be “advocating strongly” to move the case to juvenile court, since it is able to address “the needs and treatment of children of her age and level of maturity.”

A 2013 review of the court system found that of approximately 240 people under 17 who were charged as adults in 2012, only seven had their cases moved to juvenile court, Wisconsin Supreme Court spokesman Tom Sheehan has said. The court system does not track such cases statewide on an annual basis.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.


About Eric Heisig

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