The 16-year-old responsible for the stabbing of 21 other students and a security guard may be the subject of a mental evaluation. His defense attorney is making the request in order to ensure that his client is tried in juvenile court rather than as an adult.
Attorney Patrick Thomassey admitted during an interview with Good Morning America that Alex Hribal had been responsible for the stabbings.
He said that he expects that any defense put forth regarding the crime will more than likely be based on Hribal's mental state.
Pennsylvania law dictates that Thomassey will have to prove to a judge in juvenile court that Hribal can be rehabilitated through juvenile court.
A benefit of getting his client's case moved to juvenile court is that the youth system only has authority over juvenile offenders until the age of 21. If Hribal is tried and charged as an adult, he could be put away for many years.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) April 10, 2014
— Shannon MacDonald (@shananigins15) April 10, 2014
Thomassey described his young client as "confused, scared, and depressed" and feels that while Hribal understands what he did, he doesn't appreciate "the gravity of what he did."
Said Thomassey, "I'm sure that as he wakes up this morning it will start to sink in where he is now and what's going to happen to him."
Hribal's parents have not seen their son since the incident according to his defense attorney.
"They send their best wishes to anybody involved in this," said Thomassey. "They could not have predicted this was going to happen."
They also wished for him to express to the public their personal shock and horror at what their son had done.
my Prayers goes out to #Pennsylvania at this time At least 20 students were injured in the stabbing incident at a Pennsylvania school:
— John Cox (@JohnCox1989) April 9, 2014
Despite Hribal's parents and community being caught off-guard by the violent stabbings, some theories are being floated in an effort to explain the tragic event.
Persons on social media sites are suggesting that Hribal acted out after being a victim of bullying.
Thommassey said that he had "heard that rumor". For now he's denying that bullying was the potential reason for his client's actions.
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