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Alex Hribal Gets At Least 23 Years In Prison For Franklin Regional Stabbings

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey addresses media at Alex Hribal's sentencing hearing on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.

UPDATED: This story was updated at 4:38 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. 

A man who pleaded guilty to stabbing 20 fellow students and a security guard at his suburban Pittsburgh high school will spend at least 23 years in prison with a maximum of six decades.

A judge sentenced 20-year-old Alex Hribal to 23.5 to 60 years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $269,000 in restitution.

Credit Keith Srakocic / AP
In this Oct. 26, 2015 file photo, Alex Hribal, right, is escorted to a bail hearing in Greensburg, Pa.

  Hribal pleaded guilty in October to a weapons charge and numerous attempted homicide and aggravated assault charges.

Hribal was 16 when he used two 8-inch kitchen knives to stab and slash his way through the hallways of Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville before classes began on April 9, 2014.

After the stabbing that day, law enforcement officials found a document in Hribal’s locker, which District Attorney John Peck called the defendant’s “manifesto.” The papers, written by Hribal, talked about his intent and praised the 1999 Columbine High School attackers.

At his sentencing hearing Monday, Hribal's parents asked the judge to give their son a "second chance." His father, Harold, said Alex suffered from depression and contemplated suicide as a result of bullying at school.

Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA
Alex Hribal's parents, Harold and Tina, gave emotional testimony at their son's sentencing hearing Monday. Harold Hribal asked the judge to give his son a "second chance."

At his sentencing hearing Monday, Hribal's parents asked the judge to give their son a "second chance." His father, Harold, said Alex suffered from depression and contemplated suicide as a result of bullying at school.

Defense lawyer Patrick Thomassey  echoed Hribal's parents. 

"He has a very difficult time expressing himself," Thomassey said. "I’ve had many many many private conversations with him and he’s remorseful, he is. I mean, he was a kid at the time. I can’t remember being 16, I mean, I can’t."

Reading from a piece of paper wearing his dark blue uniform and a golden cross around his neck, Hribal himself spoke to the court for the first time since the attacks. He said Franklin Region had a major problem with teasing and that mental health issues should be spoken about more often to adolescents. He also said he regretted the attack.

Peck said mental health experts who treated Hribal were skeptical that bullying played a part in his actions.

"He was subjected to the normal type of bullying that all of us were subjected to when people were not kind to us, but that didn’t affect him in any way so that would make a difference in whether or not he understood that he was committing a crime," Peck said. 

Four students were critically injured at the school near Pittsburgh, including one who required a liver transplant. All survived and have since recovered.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.