Stabbing suspect's mental state is key to the case

JOE MANDAK Associated Press Published:

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Attorneys say the legal fate of a 16-year-old boy accused of stabbing or slashing 22 people at his Pennsylvania high school will probably pivot more on his mental state than his tender age.

They say the sheer number of victims won't preclude Alex Hribal (RY'-buhl) from being treated as a juvenile. That's something that would assure his freedom by 21.

The boy's attorney is seeking a psychiatric evaluation and will seek to have him transferred to juvenile court.

Authorities say Hribal took the knives to Franklin Regional High School east of Pittsburgh on Wednesday and randomly attacked other students in a crowded hallway. The rampage stopped when an assistant principal tackled him.

Several students went to the hospital. Five remained hospitalized Saturday, including four in critical condition.

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