Defense attorney says girls were coerced by Slender Man, charge should be dismissed

An attorney for one of two Wisconsin girls accused of repeatedly stabbing a classmate and leaving her for dead has argued the charges against her should be dismissed because she believed a fictional horror character would kill her family if they didn't attack their friend, and that belief amounted to coercion.

In a Waukesha County Circuit Court filing Thursday, Joseph Smith Jr. asked the judge to dismiss a charge of attempted first-degree intentional homicide because his client believed the character, Slender Man, was actually alive and a threat to her family.

Smith argues that such perceived intimidation amounts to coercion and justifies a lesser charge that could be handled in juvenile court.

All the girls were 12 when the attack happened last May. The victim survived 19 stab wounds.