An East Earl Township man charged with stabbing the mother of his four children and her friend before stabbing himself last month will likely pursue a mental health defense, his attorney said.

Michelle Akritas commented on the strategy after Gregory B. Hall, 28, waived his preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon before District Judge Jonathan Heisse.

Waiving the hearing means Hall concedes prosecutors have enough evidence to show that a crime was likely committed and it will be up to a jury or judge to decide his responsibility.

Hall is charged with two counts each of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and terroristic threats and one count each of strangulation and stalking.

Hall appeared briefly in the courtroom, wearing an orange Lancaster County Prison jumpsuit, to sign paperwork. He wore handcuffs, which were linked to a chain around his waist.

About 12 hours before the Oct. 19 stabbings, Hall had been released from a hospital mental health unit, Akritas said.

"I'm thinking maybe he shouldn't have been allowed out," she said.

In an interview three days after the stabbings, Hall's mother, Jennifer Decesare, said her son had tried to kill himself by taking pills two days before the stabbings and authorities unsuccessfully tried to have him committed.

She said her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a child.

According to East Earl police, Hall stabbed the woman in their 1049 Main Street apartment after she told him she wanted to end their relationship. Hall then stabbed a friend of the woman who tried to stop Hall before Hall stabbed himself, police said in charging documents.

Hall is being held at Lancaster County Prison without bail. Formal arraignment is scheduled Dec. 13.