Judge denies Morgan Geyser's request for release from psychiatric hospital

NOW: Judge denies Morgan Geyser’s request for release from psychiatric hospital

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Waukesha County judge has denied Morgan Geyser's petition to be released.

The decision was announced in court, Thursday, April 11 after a two-day hearing.

Geyser was 12 years old when she and Anisa Weir stabbed their classmate more than a dozen times, nearly killing her. At the time, the girls told police it was to please a fictional character called Slender Man. It's been nearly 10 years since the crime and Geyser's attorney says she's ready for conditional release.

During the hearing, a total of four mental health doctors testified. They each have history with Geyser and shared details about sessions with her over the last 10 years. Details of her psychiatric history, including schizophrenia and PTSD, were discussed in court.

The two doctors called by the state said release would not be appropriate at this time. Dr. Brooke Lundbohm, clinical psychologist, was not in support of release.

"It is my opinion that she continues to pose a significant risk of bodily harm to self, others, or property," she said.

Dr. Deborah Collins, licensed psychologist who has spent the most time with Geyser over the years, also said release is not appropriate at this time.

"The facts weigh contrary to her petition," she said.

Collins did, however, say that with continued treatment, Geyser's readiness could happen within six months to a year.

The third doctor was called by Geyser's attorney. "There is no suggestion that she is dangerous at this time, and the kinds of things that Morgan needs in my view…. help with socialization, help with education, help with being independent, are things that Winnebago can no longer provide in an effective way," said Dr. Kenneth Robbins.

After both sides rested, the judge called a fourth doctor to testify. She is the medical director at Winnebago Mental Health Institute, where Geyser has been since 2018.

She says Geyser has reached the highest level of treatment they provide. "At this point, she is safe to return to the community. I don't know that much more could be done to make her safer," Dr. Kayla Pope said.

Waukesha County Judge Michael Bohren ultimately decided that conditional release will not happen at this time.

Under Wisconsin law, she can be released unless the judge finds "clear and convincing" evidence that she's a risk to herself and others.

"We come back to risk. The dangerous risk is significant for the community," said Judge Bohren.

Geyser's attorney says they plan to submit a new request soon.

"I think we'll pursue it in six months. She's making progress and doctors hinted at that," said defense attorney Anthony Cotton.

Geyser's original sentence was 40 years in a mental health facility after she pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Anisa Weier pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree intentional homicide and was also sent to the psychiatric center. She was granted a release in 2021 to live with her father and was ordered to wear a GPS monitor.

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