— -- A judge has delayed the start of the trial for two girls charged with stabbing their friend 19 times, allegedly to please a fictional character named Slender Man, pending a decision from the Court of Appeals on whether to try them as adults instead of juveniles.
Judge Michael Bohren announced he would take the cases against teenagers Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier off the October calendar.
Prosecutors did not object to a stay in the district court proceedings while awaiting the court of appeals decision.
Bohren scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for Sept. 30.
Anissa's attorney, Maura McMahon, said after today's hearing, "We're hoping the Court of Appeals will determine that the girls should be returned to the juvenile court system, or placed into the juvenile court system, as they began in the adult court system. Again, it's a case that we've been litigating since the first time this case came into court, and we'll continue to fight, because of the age of these children."
Morgan's attorney, Anthony Cotton, said, "We hope the court of appeals takes the case and rules ultimately in favor of Morgan. We don't know what they're going to do at this point because the Attorney General's office has yet to chime in ... the issue is important enough that the Court of Appeals ought to reverse the proceedings and send it back to children's court."
"Hopefully, we get some firm ruling from the Court of Appeals in 2015; that would be my hope," Cotton added.
Judge Bohren ruled in August that the girls would go to trial in adult court.
If the girls are convicted in the adult court system, they could each face up to 65 years in prison.
Morgan and Anissa were both 12 years old when they were arrested on May, 31, 2014, after allegedly stabbing their then-12-year-old friend Payton Leutner 19 times and leaving her in the woods in their hometown of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Payton was rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries and survived.
Prosecutors have said that both Morgan and Anissa were obsessed with the fictional character Slender Man, who is often depicted in fan fiction stories online as a horror figure who stalks children.
In August, a Wisconsin court entered not guilty pleas on behalf of the two teens after their lawyers declined to do so.