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Court: Girls should be tried as adults for alleged Slender Man-inspired attack

An appeals court has affirmed a lower court ruling that Morgan Geyser (right) and Anissa Weier (left) should be tried as adults for allegedly attempting to kill a classmate to please a fictional character. (Waukesha Police Department/MGN)

A Wisconsin state appeals court has ruled that two girls accused of trying to kill their classmate in an attempt to please the fictional horror character Slender Man should be tried as adults.

The 2nd District Appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a lower court's determination that it was reasonable to try Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser as adults. The girls could appeal the rulings to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The girls were 12 years old in 2014 when, authorities say, they lured their classmate into woods in Waukesha after a birthday sleepover and repeatedly stabbed her. The victim, who was also 12, was found along a road, bleeding from wounds that nearly killed her.

The appeals court said in its Wednesday ruling that the Waukesha County Circuit Court properly examined the fact and rationally determined that the girls should be tried as adults.

The two girls are charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide where convictions could send them to prison for up to 45 years. As juveniles, they could be incarcerated for up to three years and then supervised until age 18.

According to a criminal complaint, the girls plotted for months before they lured Payton Leutner into a park in Waukesha, about 20 miles west of Milwaukee, and attacked her with a knife.

Leutner suffered 19 stab wounds, including one that doctors say narrowly missed a major artery near her heart. After the attack in a wooded park, she crawled to a road and was found lying on a sidewalk by a passing bicyclist. Despite the attack, she staged what her family called a "miraculous" recovery and was back in school in September three months later.

The girls told investigators they hoped that killing her would please Slender Man, a demon-like character they had read about in online horror stories. The tales describe Slender Man as an unnaturally thin, faceless creature who preys on children.

Police captured the girls on the outskirts of the city that same day. They told investigators they planned to walk 300 miles to the Nicolet National Forest, where they hoped to live as Slender Man's servants in his mansion.

An HBO documentary on the case was released in March.

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