Doctors differ on preteen suspect's mental state - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Doctors differ on preteen suspect's mental state

By M.L. JOHNSON

Associated Press WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - Doctors disagree over whether the second of two 12-year-old girls charged with stabbing a classmate to please the fictional horror character Slender Man is fit to stand trial, a judge and attorneys said Wednesday.

A state psychiatrist filed a report saying he found the girl mentally capable of helping with her defense, but defense attorney Joseph Smith Jr. questioned the state doctor's qualifications and said he had a report from another doctor who disagreed.

Both reports are sealed, and Smith didn't offer any details except to question whether Dr. Robert Rawski had the expertise to evaluate juveniles.

"You may not be looking at the things that are most important. And while it may be a valid opinion regarding an adult, when you're dealing with someone who's 12, it's different," Maura McMahon, another defense attorney for the girl, explained later.

Waukesha County Judge Michael Bohren scheduled another hearing for Dec. 18 because the state's doctor was not in court to testify Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the two girls plotted for months to kill their classmate before luring the child to a wooded park after a sleepover in Waukesha, west of Milwaukee, and stabbing her 19 times. Payton Leutner survived by crawling from the woods to a sidewalk where a bicyclist found her and called 911.

Wisconsin law requires suspects who are at least 10 years old to be charged as adults in severe crimes. Attorneys for the girls arrested in the stabbing have said they will try to get their clients' cases moved back to juvenile court. The Associated Press is not naming the girls while their cases could be moved.

Bohren ordered one of the girls to receive mental health treatment after a court-appointed psychologist testified in August that the girl claims to see and hear things that others cannot - including unicorns, Slender Man and Voldemort, an antagonist in the Harry Potter series.

Both girls' attorneys have questioned whether they would receive appropriate care in the adult system, which is not designed for 12-year-olds.

But the juvenile court system might not be much better for the girls than the adult system, said Tina Freiburger, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor who has studied the juvenile system. She said most children who end up in the juvenile system have been truant, missed a curfew or were involved in a minor crime, while the Slender Man case is rare in its violence.

"Luckily, we don't have a lot of 12-year-olds going out and committing crimes like this," Freiburger said. "That's a good thing. But then the bad thing is that when we have it happen, we don't have a system in place to really deal with their needs."

___

Associated Press writer Carrie Antlfinger contributed to this report.

___

Follow M.L. Johnson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MLJohnsonOnline .

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • OK bullying incident escalates, boy stabbed in his ear on the bus

    OK bullying incident escalates, boy stabbed in his ear on the bus

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 1:25 PM EDT2017-03-28 17:25:14 GMT
    (Source KTUL)(Source KTUL)

    The Oklahoma State Department of Education is looking into an incident that occurred last week. Brandy Dick says her 10-year-old son, Tobbeey, was stabbed in the ear with a sucker stick while riding home one afternoon on a Nowata Public Schools bus. According to KTUL, one student held Tobbeey while another student shoved the sucker stick deep into his ear. Dick took her son to the emergency room where he was referred to a specialist.

    The Oklahoma State Department of Education is looking into an incident that occurred last week. Brandy Dick says her 10-year-old son, Tobbeey, was stabbed in the ear with a sucker stick while riding home one afternoon on a Nowata Public Schools bus. According to KTUL, one student held Tobbeey while another student shoved the sucker stick deep into his ear. Dick took her son to the emergency room where he was referred to a specialist.

  • Lawyer says Trump administration moved to squelch testimony

    Lawyer says Trump administration moved to squelch testimony

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 1:25 PM EDT2017-03-28 17:25:03 GMT
    Tuesday, March 28 2017 1:25 PM EDT2017-03-28 17:25:03 GMT

    The Republican congressman's revelation Monday prompted Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the committee's Russia probe.

    The Republican congressman's revelation Monday prompted Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the committee's Russia probe.

  • Turkey crashes through windshield of SUV

    Turkey crashes through windshield of SUV

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 12:39 PM EDT2017-03-28 16:39:33 GMT
    Tuesday, March 28 2017 1:04 PM EDT2017-03-28 17:04:21 GMT

    A family is OK after 30-pound tom turkey went through the windshield of their SUV.

    A family is OK after 30-pound tom turkey went through the windshield of their SUV.

Powered by Frankly