Judge denies request to move teen Slender Man stabbing suspect to psychiatric treatment center



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MILWAUKEE — A judge denied a request Friday to move a 12-year-old girl accused of stabbing a classmate to please the horror character Slender Man to a psychiatric treatment center, but admitted her long-term placement needed to be considered.

The 12-year-old girl and her 13-year-old friend, both of Waukesha, are charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the attack on Payton Leutner, who survived 19 stab wounds. Waukesha is about 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

The 12-year-old's attorney, Anthony Cotton, said the defendant needs additional treatment for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. But the Waukesha County circuit judge was concerned about her being a flight risk.

Cotton said his client has no way to get anywhere and that any allegations of violence have been limited to the stabbing and are connected to her mental illness.

"She has no transport, no car, no friends, no money," he said.

"She's not any sort of flight risk."

Bohren also denied a motion to reduce the girl's $500,000 bail to a signature bond. He did say her long term placement should be considered, but no hearing or action was set for that.

Cotton said his client's parents were sad at the outcome of the hearing and that he would look for a more secure mental health facility for his client.

Cotton's client has a hearing in June to determine if her case should be moved to juvenile court, where Cotton said there is more funding available for mental treatment. A similar hearing for the other girl is set for next month.

Wisconsin law requires anyone accused of certain serious crimes to be charged as adults if they are 10 or older. According to a criminal complaint, the girls plotted for months before they lured Payton, their former friend, into some woods after a sleepover in May 2014 and attacked her. They told investigators they hoped it would please Slender Man, a character they had read about in online horror stories.

The Associated Press isn't naming the girls in case they end up in juvenile court, where proceedings are closed to the public.

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