The family of a Wisconsin girl who survived a stabbing said the plea deal made with one of her attackers provides “closure.”
On Monday, Anissa Weier, 15, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime with use of a deadly weapon in the May 2014 attack on Payton Leutner, then 12. Under the plea deal, a judge could sentence Weier to 10 years behind bars next month if she is found legally competent, essentially deeming her liable for the charge, according to People.
If she is found not to be mentally competent, however, a judge could commit Weier to a mental facility for three years.
Shortly after reaching the plea deal, Leutner’s family noted that it’s been more than three years since the attack that nearly killed Payton.
“These three years have been very difficult both physically and emotionally for Payton and our family,” the victim’s family said in a statement. “Paramount in our decision to accept today’s plea agreement is that it provides closure without having to have Payton testify and be forced to relive this horrific incident.”
“Though perhaps not to the extent in which we would hope these assailants be punished, we are forced to work within the confines of current law. Ultimately, our decision is what is best for our beautiful and amazingly brave daughter, Payton.”
Weier and Morgan Geyser were arrested on May 31, 2014, after allegedly luring Leutner to a Waukesha park, stabbing her 19 times, and leaving her to die. Leutner was hospitalized in critical condition but survived.
The girls, who were 12 at the time, claimed they carried out the brutal stabbing to please “Slender Man,” a fictional horror character.
The pair were originally charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Charged as adults, they pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect.
Geyser’s parents claimed their daughter was diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia. Weier supposedly has no history of mental illness.
[Featured Image: Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool]