'Slender Man’ Attacker Morgan Geyser Denied Plea to Be Released From Mental Institution

Morgan Geyser was convicted in 2017 of attempted homicide and committed to a mental institution

<p>Michael Sear/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File</p> Morgan Geyser

Michael Sear/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File

Morgan Geyser

Morgan Geyser, one of the two girls who attempted to kill their friend to impress a mythical online character in 2014, has been denied a request to be released from the mental institution where she’s being held, according to The Associated Press.

Geyser was convicted in October 2017 after she pleaded guilty to attempted homicide for stabbing her classmate Payton Leutner several times in Waukesha, Wisc. Geyser and her co-defendant Anissa Weier were both 12 years old at the time of the stabbing.

In May of 2014, Weier and Geyser lured Leutner, also 12, into the woods following a sleepover, PEOPLE reported previously. Geyser and Weier then took turns stabbing Leutner — a total of 19 times — reportedly to show their dedication to "Slender Man," an internet phenomenon, and left her in the woods for dead.

Leutner survived and managed to crawl out into a nearby bike path where she was rescued by a passerby.

The case gained notoriety for the various aspects of it, including that Geyser and Weier carried out the crime for the sake of an online character as well as their chillingly calm confessions to the police after they were apprehended.

Related: 'Slenderman' Teen Sobs as She Describes Stabbing Classmate: 'I Tackled Her, I Stabbed Her'

In January, Geyser requested to be released from the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, where she has been receiving treatment since her conviction, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, FOX 6 NOW and NBC News reported at the time.

On Thursday, a Wisconsin judge ruled Geyser will not be released as she remains a risk to the public, per the Associated Press.

"The scales tip in favor of the public," Judge Michael Bohren said during his ruling, “and it tips that way by clear and convincing evidence.”

Mug Shots Morgan Geyser (L), Anissa Weier
Mug Shots Morgan Geyser (L), Anissa Weier

During a hearing that spanned two days, psychologists tasked to evaluate Geyser's mental health testified in front of the judge, according to FOX 6 NOW.

Dr. Deborah Collins, a court-appointed psychologist, made a significant revelation about a recent examination of Geyser, WISN reported.

Dr. Collins testified that in 2022, Geyser allegedly said she never had psychotic symptoms but was "faking" them in order to avoid being released into the custody of her father, who she alleged abused her, per the outlet.

Dr. Brooke Lundbohm, another court-appointed clinical psychologist, recommended Geyser's plea be denied, WISN reported.

"It's hard to predict without having a better understanding of that past history of violence, it's hard to predict the future," Dr. Lundbohm said, per the outlet.

Geyser's attorney Tony Cotton told The Associated Press following the ruling that Geyser has not changed her story but attributes her attack to her own alleged trauma, rather than her mental illness.

“Time will show she is a healthy and stable person who needs to be released to the community. Time has shown that,” Cotton told the outlet.

While Geyser has been denied a release, Weir was released in September 2021 from the same mental institution.

Weier had been found not guilty by reason of insanity in September 2017, the Associated Press reported at the time.

Courtesy Leutner Family Payton Leutner
Courtesy Leutner Family Payton Leutner

Related: Teen Stabbed by Friends in 'Slenderman' Attack Says She 'Wanted to Get Out of That Friendship'

In 2019, Leutner opened up on 20/20 about her experience. She shared that although she still carries the trauma of the incident, her subsequent recovery contributed to her growth.

So much so that Leutner said at the time that if she had any message for Geyser, it would be to “initially thank” her.

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“I would say [to Geyser], ‘Just because of what she did, I have the life I have now. I really, really like it, and I have a plan. I didn’t have a plan when I was 12, and now, I do because of everything that I went through,'” Leutner said in the show.

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