A Wisconsin state appeals court ruled Wednesday that two girls accused of trying to kill their classmate in an attempt to please the fictional horror character Slender Man should be tried as adults.
The 2nd District Appeals court, in a pair of rulings, affirmed a lower court's determination that it was reasonable to try both girls as adults. The girls could appeal the rulings to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The girls were 12 years old in 2014 when investigators say they lured 12-year-old Payton Leutner to a park in Waukesha, about 20 miles west of Milwaukee. Authorities say the girls stabbed Payton 19 times in an attempted sacrifice to a fictitious horror character called Slender Man. Payton was left for dead but managed to crawl from a wooded area where she was discovered by a bicyclist.
The Associated Press hasn't identified the defendants because their cases could still move to juvenile court, where proceedings are closed.
The appeals court said in its Wednesday ruling that the Waukesha County Circuit Court properly examined the fact and rationally determined that the girls should be tried as adults.
The two girls are charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide where convictions could send them to prison for up to 45 years. As juveniles, they could be incarcerated for up to three years and then supervised until age 18.
Slender Man is described in fictional stories as an unnaturally tall, thin demon-like figure that lacks facial features. He is said to live in a mansion in a forest. Authorities say the girls hoped to live in that fictional home after the attack.