Victims of Franklin Regional stabbings have 'moved on,' Hribal attorney says
As the two-year anniversary approaches of the day Alex Hribal wildly swung two kitchen knives at 20 of his classmates and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School, his attorney argues in a court document it's fortunate no one died and contends the victims have moved on.
In his final argument to try to move the case from adult to juvenile court, Patrick J. Thomassey of Monroeville said although the victims' injuries were serious and some are still “haunted” by memories of the April 9, 2014, stabbings, “Fortuitously ... there were no deaths resulting from the incident.”
Thomassey's petition to decertify the case to juvenile court is pending a ruling by Westmoreland County Judge Christopher A. Feliciani.
Feliciani held hearings in June and November to hear from victims and defense experts. He delayed ruling until Thomassey and District Attorney John Peck filed briefs in support of their arguments.
Thomassey, who filed his brief late last week, argued the testimony given by victims during the hearings indicates they have moved on.
“A thorough reading of the hearing transcripts indicates that the Franklin Regional community is working its way through the incident and has, for the most part, moved on from the incident,” Thomassey said in the filing. “With regard to the impact on the community, Dr. (Christine) Martone states that the Hribal family, who live in the community ... have received no negative communications and have received support from the community. Alex has been visited by two of his friends from school and by his cousins.”
Martone is a Pittsburgh psychiatrist who examined Hribal for the defense.
Peck, who has about 30 days to file a formal response, on Monday disputed any contention the Murrysville community has moved on.
“This has affected the Murrysville community tremendously,” Peck said, noting the victims who testified were “adamant” the case should remain in adult court. Others who were not injured but who witnessed the attacks remain traumatized, he said.
“There were teachers saying they're still affected by loud noises, police and ambulance sirens,” Peck said. “That causes anxiety, just the sounds of the sirens, because of what occurred back on that date.”
Hribal, who was 16 at the time of the attacks, was moved from a juvenile detention facility to the Westmoreland County Prison when he turned 18 in October.
Charged as an adult with 21 counts of attempted homicide and aggravated assault, he is being held without bail.
Liz Zemba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.