GREENSBURG (KDKA) – Westmoreland County Judge Christopher Feliciani ordered Alex Hribal to be moved to the county’s adult jail from the juvenile facility on Oct. 1.
That’s his 18th birthday and the prosecutor said under the law, that’s where he has to go.
Hribal’s lawyer argued the psychiatric care he’s getting at the juvenile facility is working and if sent to the adult facility, their options are either protective custody or the special needs unit, which limit his time away from the cell. His lawyer thinks he will regress there.
As an alternative, Hribal’s lawyer is formally asking for bail. The judge said he’s not inclined to grant bail, but ordered the warden at the adult jail to monitor Hribal closely.
The warden testified the jail has the resources to handle Hribal.
“I think that would be very counterproductive to his progress mentally,” said defense attorney Pat Thomassey. “I think there’s going to be problems there because of his diminutive size and the nature of this case. If somebody starts pushing him around, he’ll end up in protective custody, which is another nice word for solitary confinement and I think he’ll deteriorate and I’m very afraid of that. I asked the judge today to consider some other option besides the Westmoreland County Prison.”
In the criminal justice system, Hribal is being handled as an adult. If Hribal were ordered certified as a juvenile he could remain in the juvenile facility after his 18th birthday, but no decision on certification has been made.
That hearing is scheduled for November.