Waukesha stabbing suspects’ competency questioned

CREATED Jun 11, 2014 - UPDATED: Jun 11, 2014

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WAUKESHA -- Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier appeared separately in court for just a few minutes each Wednesday.  Questions are surfacing about the 12-year-old girls’ ability to assist in their own defense and understand the court proceedings.

A deputy escorted each child into court.  Chains shackled their legs and arms.

Court Commissioner Laura Lau ordered that Geyser undergo a competency hearing as requested by her defense attorney, Tony Cotton.

“The specifics, I’m not going to get into,” Cotton told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.  “I’m not going to say a darn thing about why we have reason to doubt it or believe that she may not be competent.”

The competency evaluation will assess Geyser’s ability to participate and comprehend legal proceedings.  It will not assess her mental state at the time of the attack or if she perceives the actions to be morally wrong.

Geyser and Weier are accused of stabbing their friend nearly to death to please the online fictional horror character Slender Man. 

Weier’s attorney said her legal team is still evaluating competency, but stopped short of asking for a doctor’s evaluation.  Weier is represented by a public defender.

“We are very interested in having this case assigned to the juvenile court where we think it’s the best place to dispose of the facts of this case,” said Sam Benedict, regional attorney manager for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office

Geyser and Weier did not say anything in court.  Their families declined comment.

A judge ordered that the media courtroom pool camera only record the girls from the neck down on Wednesday and during all future appearances.

The 12-year-old victim is recovering at home.

“Her physical wounds, thankfully, are healing more quickly than anticipated and her pain is decreasing daily,” the victim’s family posted on their public Facebook page.  “Since coming home, our daughter has enjoyed spending time outside and getting fresh air as well as running a few quick errands with her mom.”

Geyser and Weier are due back in court on July 2.