A girl who urged her friend to stab a 12-year-old classmate to please Slender Man will not be jailed.
A jury determined Anissa Weier was mentally ill when she and Morgan Geyser lured Payton Leutner into woods in Milwaukee, United States, in 2014.
All three of them were aged 12 at the time.
Investigators said Geyser stabbed Leutner 19 times while Weier urged her on, in a sacrifice to online horror character Slender Man.
Leutner managed to survive the attack.
Both of the defendants told detectives they felt they needed to kill their classmate in order to become the mythical character’s servants and save their families from him.
‘I’m very thankful to the jurors for taking the time to look at what was really going on with her,’ Weier’s attorney Maura McMahon said.
Weier, now 15, had already pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide in a deal with prosecutors in August and she could now be sent to a mental institution for up to 25 years, although a three-year term had been suggested before.
Judge Michael Bohren ordered a pre-commitment investigation report on Weier and said he would hold a hearing to decide how long to commit her after the report is completed.
Ms McMahon claimed Weier and Geyser had become obsessed with Slender Man, developing a condition called shared delusional disorder.
She added: ‘This sounds crazy, because it is.
‘This was a real being to this child and she needed to protect those around her. At 12 years old, she had no way to protect herself from (Slender Man) except for Morgan’s advice and they swirled down into madness together.’
Geyser has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide by reason of mental disease or defect. Her trial is set to begin on October 9.