Psychiatrist says Austin Harouff was legally insane when he chewed off the face of a man he had just killed in his own home
Florida college student Austin Harrouff, then 19, randomly attacked and killed Michelle and John Stevens outside of their home
Cops say Michelle Stevens, 53, lay mangled and dead in the garage and Harrouff, then a muscular exercise science major at Florida State University, was attacking and biting her 59-year-old husband on the driveway
Prosecution psychiatrist Dr. Gregory C. Landrum’s said the 23-year-old was legally insane at the time of the attack
Harrouff told the prosecution psychiatrist he believed God and demons were talking to him before the murders
Dr. Landrum concluded the killer was ‘unable to distinguish right from wrong’
This aids Harrouff’s case which will argue he is not guilty by reason of insanity at his criminal trial set to begin in May
Michelle Stevens’ family has also sued him for wrongful death
Harrouff has a history of alcohol and drug abuse, including cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants and hallucinogens like mushrooms
Blood tests only found marijuana in his system in the hours after the killings
Austin Harrouff is accused of randomly killing a Florida couple and chewing the dying husband’s face in August 2016 was was legally insane when he fatally attacked his neighbors, prosecution psychiatrist has said
A 23-year-old lorida man accused of randomly killing and cannibalizing the couple next door and chewing the face of the dying husband was legally insane at the time of the attack, according to recently filed court documents..
The insanity plea that the defense attorney’s are expected to present at the trial scheduled to begin May received a huge boost when prosecution psychiatrist Dr. Gregory C. Landrum stated that Florida college student Austin Harouff dubbed the ‘cannibal frat boy’ was legally insane when he fatally attacked neighbors, Michelle and John Stevens, outside their home in August 2016.
After killing the couple, Harrouff was discovered eating John Stevens’ face.
The findings show that Harrouff, who was then a 19-year-old college student, believed God and demons were talking to him and he had increasing paranoia and other hallucinations in the lead-up to the killings.
Florida teen, 19-year-old Austin Harrouff accused of eating man’s face after stabbing charged with murder Harrouff accused of killing John Stevens III, 59, and Michelle […]
Victims: Michelle and John Stevens [photo], were randomly attacked outside their Florida home by their neighbor’s college son Austin Harrouff who then chewed John’s face off
Cannibal killer Austin Harrouff’s attorneys, who are planning to argue that the 23-year-old should be found not guilty by reason of insanity at his murder trial, which is scheduled for May have their strategy bolstered by prosecution expert witness
On the evening of the killings, his mother found him at her home drinking cooking oil mixed with Parmesan cheese – the victim’s family alleges the concoction was spiked with hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Landrum also noted that Harrouff is being treated for schizophrenia while jailed.
The psychiatrist’s finding bolsters the case of Harrouff’s attorneys, who are planning to argue the 23-year-old should be found not guilty by reason of insanity at his murder trial, which is scheduled for May.
Dr. Landrum’s conclusion was that Austin Harrouff was ‘unable to distinguish right from wrong’ when he killed the couple – the legal standard in Florida for being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
He faces a life sentence if convicted.
If Harrouff is found not guilty by reason of insanity, that does not mean he would go free.
Austin Harrouff, accused of murdering Michelle and John Stevens in August 2016, appeared in court for a hearing in November 6, 2019. He is being treated for schizophrenia while jailed
He would be committed to a state mental hospital and his attorneys have previously conceded it is unlikely that he would ever be released.
Harrouff ‘has a mental illness and, because of the illness, is manifestly dangerous to himself and others,’ Landrum wrote.
Defense attorney Nellie L. King welcomed Landrum’s finding, while understanding ‘it may provide little comfort to the victims’ families’.
‘However, mental illness is very real and can lead to unintentional, yet tragic, outcomes,’ King said in a statement.
The defense examiner also found him legally insane.
Prosecutors and attorneys who are representing Michelle Stevens’ family in a lawsuit against Harrouff had no immediate comment Thursday.
The family sued Harrouff for ‘wrongful death’ in 2018 after becoming impatient with the speed at which the criminal trial was moving.
A pretrial hearing on the criminal case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Evidence of an unstable mind? Note by the cannibal killer provided to the court as the mental state of Austin Harrouff was being determined
Murder weapon? A wine bottle opener retrieved from the scene of the Stevenses’ murder in August 2016
Michelle Stevens, 53, lay mangled and dead in the garage and Harrouff, then a muscular exercise science major at Florida State University, was attacking and biting her 59-year-old husband on the driveway.
Harrouff is alleged to have also wounded neighbor Jeffrey Fisher who tried to save the couple.
One deputy ordered Harrouff off at gunpoint while another used an electric stun gun on him, but he wouldn’t let go.
Deputies say they didn’t shoot Harrouff because they feared hitting John Stevens.
Finally, a deputy with a dog arrived and its bites enabled deputies to subdue Harrouff, who had no previous arrest record.
He told deputies, ‘Help me, I ate something bad’ and then admitted it was ‘humans’ as he spit out a piece of flesh, court documents show.
Forensics team members remove furniture from the garage where Michelle Stevens was found
‘Shoot me now; I deserve to die,’ Harrouff said.
Harrouff has a history of alcohol and drug abuse, including cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants and hallucinogens like mushrooms, but blood tests only found marijuana in his system in the hours after the killings.
Landrum wrote that Harrouff in an October interview told him that in the weeks leading up to the killings he had begun to feel ‘go go go’ and experienced grandiosity during the day and paranoia at night.
Demons and God were talking to him. He claims he felt like he had Jesus’ ‘special abilities’ while working at his job as a dental assistant and that he blessed the dental instruments by pouring water on them.
Harrouff told Landrum that on the day before the killings he felt that ‘dog spirits’ had become part of him and he had new strength and agility.
Austin is seen with his father, Florida dentist, Dr Wade Harrouff
‘Face-eating frat boy’ leaves his family at the restaurant and heads home on the night he killed and his parent’s neighbors
Harrouff later told the Dr. Phil television show that he was fleeing a demon he called ‘Daniel.’
He told psychiatrist that he recalls having a machete in his hand and stabbing a woman – ‘it was like she was covered in darkness’.
He recalled seeing a man who was ‘glowing white’ and began stabbing and biting him. He remembers drinking a liquid, calling out to God to save him and feeling he was a dog before blacking out.
Harrouff was hospitalized for nearly two months recovering from injuries caused by drinking a caustic liquid found in the couple’s garage.
His criminal trial which will begin in May begins with with a pretrial scheduled for Thursday afternoon.