Judge halts insanity exam for girl in Slender Man stabbing
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.
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