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Sep 17, 2:42 PM EDT

High school stabbing suspect gets funeral furlough

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GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A 16-year-old boy charged with stabbing 20 students and a security guard at his western Pennsylvania high school was granted a furlough to attend a funeral home visitation for his grandmother.

The order signed by a Westmoreland County judge allowed Alex Hribal, of Murrysville, to attend the visitation Wednesday afternoon in Mount Pleasant.

Sheriff's deputies guarded Hribal during the visit and immediately returned him to a county juvenile detention center where he's been jailed since the attacks April 9 at Franklin Regional High school.

Another judge has scheduled a hearing Sept. 26 on a defense attorney's request to have Hribal moved to a secure mental health facility while he awaits trial either as a juvenile or an adult.

Hribal is charged with 21 counts of attempted homicide and aggravated assault and one count of possessing weapons on school property. His attorney, Patrick Thomassey, doesn't dispute that Hribal brought two eight-inch kitchen knives from his home and attacked others before classes began that morning. But Thomassey maintains the boy has deep-seated mental health issues that would be better addressed in juvenile court.

Thomassey has said he plans to ask a judge to move the case from Common Pleas to juvenile court, where the judge would be able to incarcerate or supervise Hribal only until he's 21. If he's convicted as an adult, he would likely face decades in prison. Prosecutors are expected to argue that Hribal should continue to be treated as an adult.

Hribal's trial had been scheduled to begin Oct. 6, but was postponed indefinitely to resolve some legal issues.

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