WAUKESHA, Wisc. - The mother of one of the girls accused of stabbing a friend to impress a fictional character disagrees with the fact that her daughter is scheduled to be tried as an adult for the crime.
Angie Geyser, 36, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that her experience watching her daughter go through the criminal and mental health system has turned her into an advocate for juvenile justice reform.
"I was shocked to learn 12-year-olds could be charged as adults," she said. "Some of the comments on stories say 'Adult crime, adult time.' That's BS," Geyser told the paper. "These are children."
Morgan Geyser and her friend Anissa Weier were both 12 when police say they lured classmate Payton Leutner into the woods, stabbed her 19 times, and left her for dead. Leutner managed to crawl toward a road where she was discovered by a bicyclist. She survived the attack.
Geyser and Weier were apprehended by police trying to walk to a Wisconsin forest where they believed the character Slender Man lived.
Since being arrested, the paper reports that Geyser has been diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia, a rare mental disorder, and has gone back and forth between a state psychiatric hospital and the juvenile detention center where she is detained.
Both Geyser and Weier have pleaded not guilty and their mental competency has been at issue throughout the two years the case has been winding through the justice system.
According to Wisconsin law, anyone over the age of 10 who is charged with the crime the girls are charged with -- attempted first degree intentional homicide -- is automatically sent to adult court. Attorneys for the girls have been trying to have the case sent to juvenile court, but have so far been unsuccessful.
If they are tried as juveniles, the Journal-Sentinel reports that the girls would likely enter pleas and begin serving sentences that would end with "close community supervision until age 18."
If they are tried as adults and found guilty, however, they face more than 45 years in prison.