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Franklin Regional stabbing suspect Hribal's attorney seeks more time to prepare

| Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, 11:15 p.m.

The defense attorney for the Murrysville teen charged with the April knife attack at Franklin Regional High School wants more time to file pretrial motions.

Attorney Pat Thomassey filed court motions on Thursday in which he said county prosecutors have yet to turn over to him details of the evidence against 16- year-old Alex Hribal.

Hribal is charged as an adult with 21 counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault, and one weapons offense, for allegedly using two kitchen knives as he slashed and stabbed students and a guard on his way down a hallway on April 9.

According to the motion, Thomassey said he is required by court rules to file his pretrial motions by Aug. 22. But he needs more time to do so as he awaits discovery information from the prosecution.

Discovery typically includes items such as police reports, witness statements, lab reports and other evidence collected by the prosecution.

“You have to get discovery. There are a lot of search warrants I haven't seen. There are all kinds of things I could file,” Thomassey said.

One pretrial motion that will be filed will be an attempt to have Hribal's case moved to the juvenile court system, according to Thomassey.

The defense wants Westmoreland County Judge Chris Feliciani to grant a 45-day extension to file all pretrial motions.

District Attorney John Peck consented to the defense request for more time. He expects all discovery information to be turned over to the defense by next week.

“There is voluminous discovery,” Peck said. “With 21 victims, there are considerable numbers of medical reports.”

Meanwhile, Feliciani has yet to rule on a defense request filed in June to have Hribal transferred to a secure, in-patient mental health facility. Since his arrest, he has been held without bond at the county's juvenile detention center in Hempfield.

The defense contends Hribal suffers from schizophrenia and depression, and can't get adequate mental health care at the juvenile facility.

“I think he's going downhill,” Thomassey said on Thursday.

Peck said the prosecution will oppose that request.

“We have evidence to present to the court we think that is relevant,” Peck said, declining to elaborate.

Hribal's case is one of about 300 tentatively listed for court in the week-long trial term that begins Oct. 6.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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