PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The teenager accused in the Franklin Regional High School stabbing rampage has been transferred to an adult prison.
Thursday is Alex Hribal‘s 18th birthday.
He will now be held in the Westmoreland County Prison while he awaits trial.
“I think that will 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.”
Hribal will be gradually phased into the jail’s general population over 30 days. Initially, he will be allowed out of his cell for two hours a day.
Then, each week, he will be given more time out of his cell until he is fully integrated.
He has been getting regular therapy.
“Hopefully, he’ll be able to continue his therapy, but if there’s a problem, the only alternative the warden has is to put him in what they call protective custody, and that’s 23 hours a day, locked up in an 8×8 cell,” said Thomassey.
A few weeks ago, his attorneys had asked for him to remain in juvenile detention, but the judge denied that request.
Hribal has been charged as an adult, but the defense is trying to have the case transferred to juvenile court. That transfer would mean he could go to another facility to receive treatment until he turns 21.
Defense attorneys will argue later this month to have him freed on bail until his case goes to trial. According to the defense, Hribal has been diagnosed with depression and schizophrenia.
“There’s too many people in the adult jail over there. I don’t know how many prisoners they have there, but keep in mind at the juvenile center, there’s only 10 other prisoners there. Only 10 kids there,” Thomassey said.
Hribal is accused of stabbing 20 fellow students and a guard at Franklin Regional High School in April of last year.
A hearing to determine if Hribal will be certified as an adult is right now scheduled for November.