Judge sending jury back to deliberations in Slender Man trial

A judge says there’s an issue with the verdict, and the jury will have to deliberate again.

The jurors had to decide whether Anissa Weier was mentally ill when she and Morgan Geyser stabbed a classmate, Payton Leutner, 19 times in May 2014 in order to win the favor of the fictional character Slender Man.

At least 10 of the 12 jurors must agree on a verdict. The jury is made up of seven men and five women.

The judge said there are dissenting jurors. The jury form has two questions. There are two dissenters on each question. The issue is they’re not the same two people on each dissent, so he wants to make sure there’s not a problem with the verdict.

Earlier, jurors asked to see Weier’s police interrogation video from 2014. Judge Michael Bohren approved the request but said it needed to be played in open court. They watch about 20 minutes of it and then resumed deliberations.

On Friday, attorneys gave closing arguments.

“It comes down to, did she have to or did she want to? If you find she had to. If she
really believed Slender Man was going to kill her or her family, well then
maybe she couldn’t comply with the requirements of the law. But this wasn’t a had to. This wasn’t a kill or be killed,” Waukesha County Assistant District Attorney Ted Szczupakiewicz said.

“Together, they drifted deeper and deeper into this belief until sucked down by the whirlpool of the web. Their unformed minds and their mental health disorders, it eliminated their ability to control their own behavior,” Weier’s attorney, Maura McMahon, said. “At 12 years old, she had no way to protect herself from this except to follow Morgan’s advice, and they swirled down into madness together.

Weier, 15, has already admitted to taking part in the crime with Geyser, but the jury has to decide if Weier was so mentally ill she should be sentenced to a mental institution, instead of prison.

>> Full Coverage: WISN.com/slender-man

Both Weier and Geyser were charged with being a party to attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Weier struck a deal with prosecutors in August in which she pleaded guilty to being a party to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, essentially acknowledging she committed all the elements of the offense. But she also pleaded not guilty due to mental illness of defect, setting up the trial on her mental status.

Judge Michael Bohren told jurors they must decide whether Weier had a mental illness at the time of the crime and if so,…

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