Two 12-year-old girls who allegedly attempted to murder their friend in what has become known as the “Slender Man” stabbing case will face criminal charges as adults. A state appellate court in Wisconsin recently ruled that the two underage suspects should be tried as adults, not as juveniles. This means that they will be subject to severe criminal penalties and could end up spending decades behind bars if convicted on the most serious charges.
At the time of the violent attack in 2014, the girls were just 12 years old. The suspects allegedly lured their friend, also a 12-year-old girl, from a birthday sleepover party into the woods outside Milwaukee and then stabbed her repeatedly. The victim managed to survive the attack and crawl to the roadway, where a bicyclist happened upon her and took her to a local hospital. Doctors treated the victim for 19 different stab wounds.
According to investigators, the suspects spent months plotting the attack on the victim. That’s why the girls have been charged with first degree intentional attempted homicide.
The suspects reportedly told law enforcement investigators that they committed the violent assault because they wanted to please Slender Man, a fictional horror character who had become popular among young adults on the Internet. The attack drew national attention and garnered a great deal of media coverage.
One major question in the case was whether the suspects would have to face criminal charges as adults or juveniles. The key argument made by the suspects’ criminal defense attorneys was that the girls suffered from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and delusions, and therefore should not be forced to go through the adult prison system.
Now a Wisconsin appeals court has weighed in on the matter and said that the suspects will be subject to adult penalties because of the nature of the alleged crimes. As a result, the suspects could potentially be sentenced to as many as 65 years in a state prison. If the girls are ultimately convicted of first degree attempted murder and receive a maximum sentence, they would remain in a juvenile detention center and then be transferred to an adult prison. Had the girls been charged as juveniles in the attempted homicide case, they would have been subject to a maximum sentence of just three years.
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault, attempted murder, or any other criminal offense in New Jersey, the aggressive NJ criminal defense lawyers at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC can help you fight the charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.