Doctors have found one of two 12-year-old girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fictional online horror character mentally incompetent to stand trial, attorneys said Wednesday.
The doctors' reports have not been made public, but the girl's defense attorney, Anthony Cotton, said a doctor for the state of Wisconsin and a doctor hired by her defense agree that she is not mentally competent.
The results were discussed during a brief court hearing in which prosecutors asked for an additional test for mental disease or defect and a hearing on the mental competency issue. The judge agreed.
Authorities say the girls plotted for months to kill their friend to curry favor with Slender Man, a character in horror stories they read online. They told investigators they believed Slender Man had a mansion in a Wisconsin forest and they planned to go live with him after the slaying.
Wisconsin law requires attempted homicide cases to start in adult court if a suspect is at least 10, but the girls' attorneys have said they hope to see the charges moved to juvenile court, where more services might be available. Though they are being tried as adults, NBC News is not publicly identifying them or showing their faces.
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Court proceedings typically halt once a defendant is found incompetent to allow time for treatment. However, Cotton had filed a motion Monday asking the judge to allow pretrial proceedings in his client's case to continue even if she is found incompetent.
The 12-year-old victim has been recovering at home. In a statement, the victim's family said that while it supports the District Attorney's Office in their prosecution of the case, the main focus remains on the little girl.
"Our daughter and our entire family continue to focus on both her physical and emotional healing. She continues to amaze us in her ability to persevere and move forward - taking one day at a time. Much of our strength comes from knowing that there is so much "good" coming from so many people, and we continue to witness this firsthand from the compassion given to our little girl from around the world," the family said.
In a separate statement released late last month, the family released two photographs with an outpouring of gratitude. One shows the girl surrounded by purple heart cards, holding her own "thank you " card. Another showed her bedroom wall, where a local artist drew a tree trunk and used the purple heart cards as the tree’s leaves.
The family is providing updates on the girl at Facebook.com/HeartsForHealingWI and collecting donations at GoFundMe.com/HeartsForHealingWI.