PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The lawyer for Alex Hribal, the man sentenced in the 2014 Franklin Regional High School stabbing, is now pushing for less jail time.
He’s now 20 years old, but Hribal will likely spend 23 and half to 60 years behind bars.
His defense attorney, Pat Thomassey, says that’s unnecessary.
“He’s got a serious mental illness. All my doctors said that,” Thomassey said in January.
Thomassey has asked the judge to cut that sentence in half. He filed the documents Friday in Westmoreland County. In them, he asks for a significantly lesser sentence of 15 to 30 years.
“Rather than to lock up people and throw the key away, we have to figure out what made them do what they did,” Thomassey said, “and the mental health aspect of this case, to me, it just calls out for help.”
Hribal pleaded guilty in October to running through his school’s hallway with two kitchen knives, slashing 20 students and a school security guard back in April 2014. Hribal’s parents testified that fellow students continuously bullied their son, and they had no idea the full extent of his psychological issues.
On the other side, District Attorney John Peck said he asked the judge for a lengthy sentence because of the feedback he got from mental health professionals.
“Every mental health professional who treated Alex Hribal asked him about bullying,” Peck said in January. “None of them ever expressed an opinion that bullying had an effect or was a cause of his behavior.”
Hribal still sits in the Westmoreland County Prison as he awaits his transfer to the state corrections system.