Slenderman Tween Found Incompetent to Stand Trial; Legal Commentary By Whitey Bulger Defense Attorney Hank Brennan

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Morgan Geyser, 12, known as one half of the Slenderman Killers, who stabbed a twelve year old friend 19 times, has been found incompetent to stand trial for her participation in the crimes that shocked this tiny Wisconsin city.

Geyser, who was identified by the victim as her "best friend" along with Anissa Wier, also 12, allegedly meticulously planned the May 31 attack luring the victim to a park, where they repeatedly stabbed her, narrowly missing her major arteries, and leaving her for dead in a cult sacrifice devotion killing to prove allegiance and loyalty to the fictional Slenderman.

The victim suffered internal, although not life threatening, injuries with stab wounds on her stomach, pancreas, and liver. Physicians indicated the child's heart had also been touched, but not penetrated, by the knife.

The victim, whose identity has not been released, has repeatedly stated her desire to live was the force that propelled her as she crawled from the scene to a bike path where she was found.

The two preteens have been charged with two counts of Attempted First Degree murder and face up to sixty years in prison.

The appalling, sophisticated, pre-mediated crime that garnered international publicity included code words used throughout the three month planning stage and pre-arranged "go" phrases and words that would initiate the stabbing.

Although motive has been placed on an allegiance to the fictional character seen on creepypasta.com the reward the girls expected for their devotion has never been discussed. At arrest they were walking toward Nicolet National Forest, where they believed Slenderman lived in a Mansion.

Legal Commentary

Hank Brennan, co-defense attorney in the recent trial, and lead counsel in the appellate process, for James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston Mobster, explained and clarified the recent decision and ruling.

"In the 'Slenderman' case, the defense obtained an expert who evaluated the accused and determined that she was "mentally incompetent to proceed with her defense."  This is the pre-trial assertion that the trial should not even occur.  Since the defense made the assertion, the prosecutor is entitled to have their own doctor, or, depending on the jurisdiction, one appointed by the court, to evaluate the accused to determine competency." 

What then? "After the prosecutor's expert reports their findings the court will have a hearing and both sides can introduce witnesses, expert testimony, and other evidence to support their position.  Ultimately, the court will decide whether the accused is competent to stand trial.  If the Court determines the accused is competent to stand trial there will be a trial.  If there is a trial the defense may pursue mental defect as a partial or total defense to the charges."

Isn't that simply a way out? "If the court determines that the defendant is incompetent to stand trial a number of things can happen.  Depending on the jurisdiction, a judge can take steps to assist the accused in gaining competency through medication, treatment, or other means.  Typically, an accused will remain incarcerated in a secure mental health facility during this period.  In most jurisdictions, an accused can be incarcerated, usually at a mental health facility until they become competent.  Sometimes an accused will remain incarcerated until they die if they never achieve competency.  In other jurisdictions, a person can be released if they are deemed incompetent to stand trial.  If an accused is deemed incompetent to stand trial there is a regular period of review by a doctor to determine if the competency issue has changed.  Each jurisdiction has specific rules relative to competency and the procedures that are followed if someone is deemed incompetent.  In some jurisdictions the rules can provide a judge discretion to choose release or continued incarceration."

About 10 years ago, co-counsel on Bulger, J.W. Carney Jr. and I tried a murder case where the defendant had at one point been deemed not competent to stand trial. (He was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.) He remained incarcerated for many years.  He was diagnosed with cancer and shortly after his diagnosis a doctor determined that he was competent to stand trial.  A few years ago, in Massachusetts, a judge concluded that a man accused of first degree murder was incompetent to stand trial and there were no programs or likelihood of competence and in consequence released the accused and dismissed the charges."

Slenderman was originally created as a fictional character, unusually tall, thin, featureless, the slender man was created in 2009 and went viral with unrelated authors using the fictional characters in various artistic expression predominately horror assigning fantasies of abduction primarily of children or other child directed crimes.

The girls have maintained they believed the character was real.  

Hank Brennan, previously a District Attorney in Suffolk and Essex Counties, he received accommodations for his trial advocacy from the Suffolk Law School and American Bar Association Brennan joined the Bulger Defense team in 2011 and conducted the majority of the cross examinations during the trial.

 

Haute Tease

  • Oceana Coastal Kitchen San Diego Review – Enjoy Alfresco Dining, Pacific Views and Delightful Deep Sea Delicacies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    While San Diego has no shortage of fantastic restaurants, new to the region’s distinctive dining scene is Oceana Coastal Kitchen, an airy bayside eatery dishing up chef-driven, seafood-centric California cuisine amid sweeping hypnotic waterfront views that’ll keep you returning.

     
  • Academy Announces Key Dates For The OSCARS®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button
    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 87th Oscars.  The Academy Awards® presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar®Sunday, February 22, 2015.  
  • Amber Tamblyn, Andy Serkis, Devon Franklin And Jennifer Yuh Nelson To Present At 2017 Student Academy Awards®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Actors Amber Tamblyn and Andy Serkis, producer DeVon Franklin and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson will be presenters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 44th Student Academy Awards® at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.   

  • Fox Searchlight Pictures Acquires “I Origins” Worldwide Rights

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    PARK CITY, UT January 20, 2014 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to the existential drama I ORIGINS.  Directed and written by Mike Cahill, I ORIGINS is his second feature following ANOTHER EARTH which Fox Searchlight acquired at Sundance in 2011. 

     
  • "THE AVENGERS CAST" – ROBERT DOWNEY JR., CHRIS EVANS, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, JEREMY RENNER AND MARK RUFFALO – TO PRESENT ON OSCAR® SHOW

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – “Marvel’s The Avengers” cast mates Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will present together on the Oscar stage, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.

Crime

  • Court Upholds Second Chance at Justice for Pennsylvania Youth

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pennsylvania Superior Court’s recent ruling vacating a lower court’s decision, may just grant Jordan Brown, the Pennsylvania 12 year old convicted of murdering his father’s fiancée and her unborn child, a desperately needed second chance at justice.

     
  • Man Throws Child Off Manhattan Skyscraper; Commits Suicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Brooklyn man, who was allegedly in a custody dispute, committed suicide after throwing his three year old son off the roof of a luxury high rise located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

     
  • Justice Watch: Cold Case Murder of San Diego Family Solved

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Charles McStay, his wife and two small children disappeared four years ago, vanished is the better word, snatched from their suburban home. Today authorities arrested Charles Merritt, a business colleague, for the four murders.

     
  • James Bulger Appeal Deadline Nears

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    James Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster convicted in what has been called a sham proceeding, is fighting for the chance at a new trial to present evidence of alleged deals he had with members of the Massachusetts State law enforcement.

     
  • Teen, Tortured and Shamed by Dad, Commits Suicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Isabel Laxamana, a beautiful raven haired ‘tween, suffered the brutalities of bullying when her father believing discipline, including shaming, would stop any future poor social media choices chopped off her long hair on camera and uploaded the video.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Celebrities Pay Tribute to Jerry and Elaine Orbach During Launch of Remember How I Love You

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Celebrities, family and friends of the late Jerry and Elaine Orbach gathered recently, at The Snapple Theater Center in Manhattan’s Theater District, to honor them with readings from their newly released book, “Remember How I Love You - Love Letters From An Extraordinary Marriage.”

     
  • Broadway's Best: Celebrating the Music of Ron Abel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Birdland, the legendary Manhattan Jazz Club, played host for two nights only to celebrate, one of Broadway's best and Hollywood's hottest talents, composer and musical genius Ron Abel.

     
  • Interstellar Soundtrack with Music By Hans Zimmer Out In Time For The Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (October 28, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) WaterTower Music today proudly announces the November 18 release of Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, with music by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, whose career has earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, Classical Brit, Academy, Tony, and American Music Awards.

     
  • Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival - A Global Experience in the Magical Mojave

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Merging its funky desert style with an internationally acclaimed lineup of musical artists, this three day (and four night) family-friendly festival is truly a global music experience. The 13th Annual Spring Joshua Tree Music Festival melds the overwhelming spirit of desert freedom with powerful music from around the world to create a lighthearted oasis for music lovers.

     
  • Billy Blake: Images From The Ashes The Story of Triumph over Tragedy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Billy Blake, 71, in a flash, a moment, woke up to a raging fire rising up over the Malibu hillside and marching down the canyons engulfing his home, thirty years of work and almost everything, including his wherewithal, his hope, all lost.