Weier, now 15, pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge today but she'll still go to trial next month to determine her mental fitness. The teen was initially charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the attack on Payton Leutner, but Weier's plea deal downgraded the charges to attempted second-degree homicide as a party to a crime with use of a deadly weapon.
Under the deal, Weier could face up to 10 years in prison. Her future depends on whether or not a judge determines she was mentally competent at the time of the 2014 attack. If Weier is deemed not mentally competent, she will likely be committed to a psychiatric institution for three years.
According to prosecutors, Weier and Morgan Geyser, who were both 12 at the time of the attack, lured Leutner, also 12, to a local park where they stabbed her 19 times. After being left to die, Leutner managed to crawl to a bike path where a passerby found the young girl and called 911.
Both Weier and Geyser were charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide and initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. The girls told police they committed the crime in the name of "Slenderman," a fictional online character.
"It has been more than three years since our daughter was brutally attacked by two classmates who premeditatedly and meticulously planned their assault in an attempt to kill our daughter. These three years have been very difficult both physically and emotionally for Payton and our family. Paramount in our decision to accept today’s plea agreement is that it provides closure without having to have Payton testify and be forced to relive this horrific incident," the statement reads. "Though perhaps not to the extent in which we would hope these assailants be punished, we are forced to work within the confines of current law. Ultimately, our decision is what is best for our beautiful and amazingly brave daughter, Payton."