Preliminary hearing for Franklin Regional stabbing suspect postponed
The preliminary hearing for a Franklin Regional Senior High School sophomore accused of trying to kill 20 classmates and a school security guard in a stabbing rampage last month has been delayed for a second time.
At the request of defense attorney Pat Thomassey, the preliminary hearing for 16-year-old Alex Hribal was moved from Friday to 9 a.m. June 4 before Export District Judge Charles Conway in the Westmoreland County Courthouse.
“We have mental health people involved with Alex, and there's no hurry. He's not going anywhere,” Thomassey said.
Although Hribal is charged as an adult, he has been held in the county's juvenile detention center since his arrest on April 9, shortly after, investigators said, he ran down school hallways with two 8-inch kitchen knives, randomly slashing students.
Two students remain at Forbes Hospital in Monroe-ville in fair condition — Connor Warwick, 16, and Greg Keener, 15, who was moved back into an intensive care unit during the weekend for additional monitoring.
The defense previously indicated it would waive Hribal's right to a hearing, but Thomassey said plans may have changed since prosecutors late last month filed a new complaint to include 21 charges of attempted homicide.
District Attorney John Peck said all 21 victims could be called to testify at the preliminary hearing. He said security video from the school at the time of the stabbings will not be played in court next month.
With the criminal case against Hribal on hold for now, Franklin Regional administrators took steps to increase transparency by distributing plastic backpacks to more than 1,200 high school students for use during the school day.
The clear backpacks with black trim arrived at the high school on Monday as a donation from the #1 Cochran auto dealership in Monroeville.
High school students have long been barred from carrying backpacks in the hallways during classes, assistant superintendent Mary Catherine Reljac said.
The clear backpacks — labeled FR Strong — will replace small drawstring bags that students previously were permitted to carry for items such as gym clothes or cords for their electronic devices, she said.
“We're sensitive to helping people feel safe and secure,” Reljac said last week when the donation was announced.
Staff writer Renatta Signorini contributed. Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: Like it or not, Reigns is rising with Royal Rumble win
- Legislators receive committee assignments
- ‘Free’ wine kiosk initiative costs state Liquor Control Board $300K
- Mt. Lebanon High School to sell its planetarium equipment
- Pittsburgh Film Office warms up with pre-Oscar party
- 3 donors to match, help ministries reach campaign goal
- Senator opens Connellsville office
- Serra Catholic’s Sieg learning to lead in senior season
- Numine man survives crash into icy river
- Breen, North Catholic top West Mifflin
- Pittsburgh diocese campaign big success