Austin Harrouff; on Monday, November 28, will go on trial for allegedly killing a couple in their garage and biting one of the victims’ faces.
In August 2016, when he fatally stabbed 59-year-old John Stevens, his wife, 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon Stevens, and a neighbor who attempted to stop him, Harrouf, now 25 years old, reportedly waived his right to a jury trial and left it up to Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer to decide if he was insane. The attack made headlines because of its brutality and gory details. Austin Harrouff, however, has asserted his insanity as a defense to the accusations made against him.
Who is Austin Harrouff?
At the time of the incident, the former Florida State University student was 19 years old. Austin Harrouff was charged with two counts of first-degree murder with a weapon, one count of attempted first-degree murder with a weapon, and one count of breaking into a house with the intent to assault or batter while armed. Prosecutors made the decision not to ask for the death penalty in his case in 2017.
When Austin Harrouf left a dinner he was enjoying with his father and went on to attack the Stevenses about 45 minutes later, several mental health specialists, including one hired by the prosecution, came to the same conclusion. He was reportedly “growling” and chewing pieces of John Stevens’ face when deputies arrived on the scene. He had to be taken down by several officers, a police dog, and a stun gun.
In the weeks prior to the attack, Austin Harrouf’s unusual behavior caused friends and relatives to worry about him. Even a mental health professional appointment had been scheduled for him by his parents. Harrouf was eating dinner with his father and his father’s girlfriend on the night of the gruesome double killing when he quickly departed and headed to his mother’s house.
He apparently ate a bowl of parmesan cheese there after adding frying oil to it.
Austin Harrouff’s mother became worried about his behavior and brought him back to the restaurant. She claimed he informed her that there were demons in her home and that he had superpowers.
The distressed mother then dialed 911 and informed the dispatcher that her son appeared to be delusional. The perp reportedly raised his fist, but the girlfriend stopped him, and he left the restaurant once more. Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, Harrouf’s father reportedly grabbed his shoulders and shook him while requesting,
“What’s wrong with you?” The Stevenses were attacked by Austin Harrouf about 45 minutes later.