GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A judge refused to set bail Monday for a teenager accused of stabbing 20 fellow students and a security guard at his Westmoreland County high school, meaning the teen will remain jailed.
Alex Hribal was 16 years old when he went on the rampage at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville on April 9, 2014.
Hribal is charged as an adult with 20 counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault plus a school weapons charge. He had been housed in a juvenile detention center until he turned 18 on Oct. 1, when the law required him to be transferred to the Westmoreland County Prison.
In a dark-blue prison outfit and smirking at times, Hribal headed to Judge Christopher Feliciani’s courtroom Monday hoping to be granted bond.
Hribal’s defense attorney’s Pat Tomassey’s goal in the hearing was to have the judge grant his client bail or put him on house arrest.
During the hearing, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said: “He should remain in jail due to mental health issues. Only incarceration can assure the safety of the community.”
Taking the stand on behalf of his son, Harold Hribal told the judge: “Never had a note been sent home from school of a problem.”
He also said: “I’ve always tried to be close. I wanted to be part of the things they did. Some people hit the Powerball… I get this. There’s no way to get away from that. It’s with me every day.”
Also submitted for consideration in court Monday was the victims asking that Hribal stay behind bars until his trial.
“This is a very difficult case,” said Thomassey. “It’s gruesome in what occurred, but whether or not Mr. Hribal even had the mental competence to think out what he was doing 18 months ago I think is subject to a lot of scrutiny here, and if we have a trial that will be part of what we’re doing here.”
In the end, the judge made clear he believes despite making progress with his mental state that Hribal remains a significant threat and the request for bail was denied.
The hearing to determine whether Hribal’s case will be moved to juvenile court began in June and is scheduled to continue Nov. 24, Thomassey said.
All 20 stabbing victims recovered, though some have suffered lingering physical and emotional trauma.
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