80°
Weather | Traffic

Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Judge halts insanity exam for girl in Slender Man stabbing

Morgan E. Geyser (left) and Anissa E. Weier, both 12, are charged in the attempted stabbing death of a 12-year-old classmate. A judge on Tuesday halted his order that Geyser undergo a psychiatric examination meant to determine if she could raise an insanity defense. Both girls are due back in court on Aug. 1.
Morgan E. Geyser (left) and Anissa E. Weier, both 12, are charged in the attempted stabbing death of a 12-year-old classmate. A judge on Tuesday halted his order that Geyser undergo a psychiatric examination meant to determine if she could raise an insanity defense. Both girls are due back in court on Aug. 1. Credit: Abe Van Dyke
July 08, 2014
SHARE

By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

July 08, 2014 0

A judge on Tuesday stayed his recent order that a 12-year-old Waukesha girl charged with trying to stab a classmate to death undergo a psychiatric examination meant to determine if she could raise an insanity defense.

According to online court records, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren stayed his July 1 order "pending further order of the court."

Late Thursday, the girl's attorney had filed a motion asking that Bohren reconsider the examination, saying it was premature and could jeopardize Morgan Geyser's Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Opper said she could not comment on the court's action, and that no hearing date had been set to her knowledge. The next scheduled court appearance in the case is Aug. 1.

Two doctors who have done more limited evaluations of Geyser have concluded she is incompetent, meaning she may not fully understand the proceedings and is not able to aid in her defense. At a July 1 hearing, Opper had asked for a hearing on Geyser's competency.

She also asked for a more extensive examination into Geyser's mental condition at the time of the crime, in case she later raised an insanity plea.

Geyser's attorney, Anthony Cotton, objected that would be premature, because no insanity plea — known in court parlance as an NGI plea — had been entered, and may not be entered. Competency to proceed is a different question from whether a defendant is not guilty because of a mental disease or defect.

In his motion for reconsideration, Cotton argued an NGI exam would entail asking Geyser about the incident, violating her right to remain silent, since her answers would presumably be turned over to the state.

"Until the issue of competency is addressed, Ms. Geyser lacks the ability to understand the nature of the proceedings, therefore her rights, or the importance of being candid about potential mental illness," the motion reads.

Geyser and Anissa Weier, also 12, are charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in a May 31 attack on a third girl in the woods near a Waukesha park the day after all three girls had a sleepover to celebrate Geyser's birthday.

All three attend Horning Middle School in Waukesha. The victim, who has not been identified publicly, suffered 19 stab wounds but has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Geyser and Weier are being held at a secure juvenile center in West Bend.

The case has drawn international attention because of the girls' ages and because the defendants told police their motive was to gain favor with an Internet character named Slender Man, whom they believed lived in Nicolet National Forest.

Bruce Vielmetti thumbnail
About Bruce Vielmetti

Bruce Vielmetti writes about legal affairs.

Share Tweet Share Print
NewsWatch

Summerfest 2016: Which emerging country acts you should catch at Summerfest 11:49 a.m.

Q&A: Get to Know: Brewers pitcher Zach Davies 11:43 a.m.

Indianapolis developer proposes 274 apartments at former Pabst complex Updated: 11:40 a.m.

Fight, stabbing leaves man dead in Milwaukee Updated: 11:39 a.m.

Deer storms into Oconomowoc Piggly Wiggly, but does little damage Updated: 11:25 a.m.

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Texas' abortion restrictions Updated: 11:15 a.m.

Peptimed raises $200,000 to aid development of cancer-fighting drugs 11:00 a.m.

Preps Alcove: Handing out hardware for the 2015-16 athletics season in Lake Country 10:10 a.m.

Drugs suspected in Strawberry Festival crash that hurt 2 in Cedarburg 9:46 a.m.

Lynn Sprangers to become Wilson Center president and CEO 9:40 a.m.

Court upholds reach of US gun ban for domestic violence Updated: 9:04 a.m.

Director Rafaeli finds the haunting music of love in APT’s ‘Eurydice’ 9:01 a.m.

81-year-old man reported dead in Hales Corners pool drowning 7:25 a.m.

Ballpark Commons could get $26 million in city funds, study suggests 7:00 a.m.

Teen released on signature in carjacking faces nine felonies 6:12 a.m.

On Tap Today: Live music and a free movie to perk up a dull Monday 5:30 a.m.

PolitiFact: Are there more people employed than ever before? 5:00 a.m.

Report sheds new light on problem of poverty in Wisconsin 12:02 a.m.

PGA Tour Champions: Kirk Tripplett uses back-nine surge to win inaugural event Yesterday
10:09 p.m.

Nationals 3, Brewers 2: Nationals win series finale without ace 9:39 p.m.

Kohler Grand Prix: Will Power keeps pack in rearview at Road America 9:38 p.m.

Small Wisconsin dairy hopes to milk new trend: A1-free 7:03 p.m.

Man chokes to death at Greek Fest in Racine 6:55 p.m.

‘Horrible’ curriculum dooms program putting cops in classes 6:26 p.m.

Wisconsin GAB in final days as state's elections authority 4:24 p.m.

Storm brings several inches of rain to southern Wisconsin 4:17 p.m.

Racine to pay $100,000 to settle lawsuit over man's arrest 2:37 p.m.

4 motorcyclists hurt in separate crashes across Wisconsin 2:29 p.m.

Summerfest 2016: Meet the three finalists for Summerfest’s Land The Big Gig competition 1:31 p.m.

Lincoln Hills officials failed to oversee rape investigations 1:24 p.m.

Racine man charged with selling fake Chicago Bears tickets 1:22 p.m.

Several hurt in Milwaukee crash involving 4 cars, county bus 10:49 a.m.

Lightning strike catches Waukesha home on fire 10:45 a.m.

Driver accused of 6th OWI after Dane County crash 10:43 a.m.

Boaters rescued after boat capsizes on Lake Monona 10:40 a.m.

Behind the Headlines: How one 'professional plaintiff' threatened companies 9:51 a.m.

Advertisement

Photo Galleries

Advertisement