Austin Harrouff, the man who ate the faces of two victims after he allegedly murdered them in 2016, will not face the death penalty, prosecutors decided.
USA Today reports that Harrouff, 20, is charged with “first-degree murder with a weapon, attempted first-degree murder with a weapon and burglary of a dwelling with an assault or battery while armed,” but after consideration of all the information so far in the case, prosecutors will seek life in prison for the Florida man.
— TCPalm (@TCPalm) August 17, 2017
“After careful review of the case and applying the statute that controls the seeking of the death penalty, it was decided to not seek it,” assistant state attorney, Jeff Hendriks, said.
On Aug. 15, 2016, Harrouff, a former Florida State University student, allegedly killed John Stevens III, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, while they sat in the garage of their Marin County home. When neighbor Jeffrey Fisher tried to intervene, Harrouff attacked and injured him. When authorities arrived at the scene, the suspect was chewing the face of one the victims and allegedly told detectives that he “eats humans.”
Initially, detectives thought Harrouff was under the influence of drugs when the attack occurred, but a toxicology report showed he had no drugs at all in his system. His lawyer later said that Harrouff suffers from severe mental disorders, but it’s unclear what exactly the disorders are. It’s also unclear whether or not he intends to go for an insanity plea.
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) March 3, 2017
“Austin had a psychological break, as evidenced by the auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia and persecutory ideations he experienced and, more importantly, as recounted by numerous people, both relatives and non-relatives, who were around Austin in the days and weeks before the murders,” attorney Nelly King said. “There is a mountain of information about this young man that will substantiate his mental illness at the time of the offense.”
Harrouff remains behind bars at the Martin County Jail without bail. He claimed the attack was not planned and that he never intended to hurt anyone.
[Feature Photo: Martin County Sheriff’s Office]