Two Wisconsin girls who are accused of repeatedly stabbing a schoolmate in an effort to please a fictional character called "Slender Man" should be charged in adult court, a judge ruled Friday.
Both girls, who were 12 at the time of the attack — one has since turned 13 — face charges of attempted first-degree murder, which would automatically mean their cases would be tried in adult court. Lawyers representing the girls argued that they should be charged with second-degree attempted murder, which prosecutors would have to try in juvenile court.
But Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren, who spent nearly a month weighing evidence heard during a two-day preliminary trial last month, denied the request and decided to have them charged for first-degree murder in adult court, according to NBC affiliate WTMJ.
Attorneys for both of the girls on Friday requested hearings to appeal the judge’s decision and move their cases back to juvenile court, which Bohren granted. Those hearings will be held in May and June, according to The Associated Press.
The two girls are accused of luring their classmate to the woods in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha last May in order to carry out an attack that they had been planning for months, according to court documents.
They both told investigators that they believed the internet meme Slender Man would harm them and their families if they didn't kill their friend, authorities said. A bicyclist found the victim on the sidewalk, where she had crawled from the woods, and called 911. The victim suffered 19 stab wounds. She has since recovered.
One of the suspects will turn 13 on Monday, according to court documents. If convicted, the two could each face up to 65 years in prison, according to the AP. If they are tried as juveniles and found guilty, they can only be held until they are 25. NBC News is not naming the suspects in case the trials are moved back to juvenile court, where proceedings are closed to the public.
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- Slender Man Stabbing: Judge Rules Girls Competent to Stand Trial
— Elisha Fieldstadt, with The Associated Press