A court in Wisconsin has entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the two teen girls charged with first-degree attempted homicide after stabbing their friend last year in order to please the fictional character "Slender Man."
The girls, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, were reportedly silent when asked to enter pleas because "the judge has not yet issued a written order denying their effort to have the cases transferred to the juvenile court system." Judge Michael O. Bohren, who earlier this month ruled that the girls would be tried as adults, also said today that the two would be tried together.
Geyser and Weier, now 13, were 12 years old when they were arrested in May 2014 after allegedly stabbing their friend Peyton Leutner repeatedly and leaving her in the woods to die. Leutner survived the attack with critical injuries.
The teens, prosecutors allege, were "obsessed" with the character of Slender Man, a paranormal creature created by Eric Knudsen on the Something Awful Forums, and allegedly stabbed Leutner to appease him.
Last year Knudsen issued a statement about the stabbing, saying, "I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Wisconsin and my heart goes out to the families of those affected by this terrible act."
If convicted as adults, the teens face up to 65 years in prison; the trial is scheduled to start Oct. 15.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org