By M.L. JOHNSON
WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A state doctor believes the mental condition of one of two girls accused of repeatedly stabbing a classmate to please the fictional horror character Slender Man has improved, and the 12-year-old is fit to stand trial, a Wisconsin judge said Wednesday.
Judge Michael Bohren summarized the doctor’s report during a brief hearing, but he didn’t act on it after defense attorney Anthony Cotton said he hadn’t had a chance to discuss it with his client. Bohren told Cotton to talk to the girl and come back to court Tuesday.
The judge had ordered the girl to undergo mental health treatment in August, after a psychologist testified that she claimed to see and hear things others could not, including unicorns, Slender Man and an antagonist in the Harry Potter series, Voldemort.
Cotton, who declined comment after the hearing, expressed concern previously about the girl’s mental health and advocated for treatment.
The girl appeared more alert Wednesday, sitting calmly in street clothes with her hair brushed and pushed back from her face. During previous hearings, she often wore jail clothes, looked disheveled and sometimes rocked back and forth in her chair with her hair covering her face.
Court documents allege the two girls plotted for months to kill their classmate in an effort to curry favor with Slender Man, then attacked the victim during a walk in the woods after a May 30 sleepover. All three girls were 12 at the time.
Cotton’s client told investigators she stabbed the victim multiple times, according to a criminal complaint. The other girl, who has a competency hearing next month, advised the victim to lie quietly so she would lose less blood. But the other girl told investigators she really just wanted the victim to be silent so she wouldn’t draw attention to them.
Once her attackers left, the victim crawled to a path, where a bicyclist found her and called 911.