By Ross Guidotti

GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – The attorney for a 17-year-old boy charged in a stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School says the boy is responding well to mental health treatment and that they remain hopeful his criminal charges will be moved to juvenile court.

“And that always means psychological and psychiatric testimony from experts on how he was at the time of the incident and how they’ll predict he’ll be if he’s in a treatment center,” said defense attorney Pat Thomassey.

Thomassey made those comments after a conference Friday for Alex Hribal, of Murrysville. He’s charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault in the stabbings of 20 fellow students and a guard last April.

He allegedly used two, eight-inch kitchen knives in the attacks.

A judge gave Thomassey until March 15 to file additional motions, including a request to move the case to juvenile court.

Hribal faces potentially 21 counts of homicide and decades in prison if convicted as an adult. He’d be released no later than age 21 if he’s convicted as a juvenile. Thomassey says Hribal is benefiting from treatment he’s already received.

“He’s dong a heck of a lot better than he was doing eight to 10 months ago,” he said.

Thomassey says Hribal is aware of what happened, has shown contrition and is coming to terms with it. His parents remain devastated.

In November, Hribal was taken to and from the Chartiers Center Residential Treatment Center on Hickory Grade Road in Bridgeville.

Thomassey, wanted to move Hribal to a psychiatric treatment facility while he awaits trial, but when no facilities in Pennsylvania would accept him, the judge appointed a psychologist and psychiatrist to treat him at the detention center.

The pre-trial hearing that was supposed to go Friday has been delayed 30 days. Meanwhile, Hribal remains in the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center.

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(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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