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Identity & Community

What's Next For The Franklin Regional Stabbing Suspect?

Keith Srakocic

**UPDATED: This story was updated at 11:15 a.m., June 20, 2016 to reflect the new court date for Alex Hribal.  

The young man accused of wounding 20 fellow students and a security guard at a mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville two years ago will either plead guilty or go to trial on August 1.

Alex Hribal, now 18, faces 21 charges each of assault and attempted homicide. His trial was scheduled to begin Monday at 9 a.m., but the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the case has been postponed.

Since Hribal was older than 15 and allegedly used a deadly weapon in the April 2014 stabbings, Pennsylvania law automatically charged him as an adult for each count of assault and attempted homicide.

The suspect’s attorney, Pat Thomassey, attempted to have a Westmoreland County judge "decertify" the case to keep the matter in juvenile court. That appeal was rejected last week.

If Hribal, who turns 19 in October, had been found delinquent as a juvenile, he would’ve been released when the juvenile court’s jurisdiction ends at age 21.

Thomassey told WESA in March he’d like Pennsylvania to increase the jurisdiction of its juvenile courts to age 25 or 26, giving judges options for longer juvenile sentences.

Attempted homicide and assault are two of many crimes that net an automatic adult charge in Pennsylvania if the suspect was more than 15 years old and had either used a deadly weapon or been found delinquent in the past. Other such offenses include rape, robbery, kidnapping and manslaughter, according to the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center.

Murder is the only crime that carries an automatic adult charge at any age in Pennsylvania.

Hribal faces a maximum prison sentence of 840 years.