A Florida man who attacked a random couple in 2016 has been declared clinically insane, according to a prosecution psychiatrist.
ABC reports that Dr. Gregory C. Landrum found that 23-year-old Austin Harrouff suffered an “acute psychotic episode” when he attacked and killed two people, and injured their neighbor.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, on August 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.
Neighbor Jeffrey Fisher tried to intervene, but Harrouff allegedly attacked and injured him. When authorities arrived at the scene, the suspect was chewing the face of John Stevens III and allegedly told detectives that he “eats humans.”
Authorities found the mangled and deceased body of Michelle Mishcon nearby.
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 at the time it was unclear what exactly the disorders were.
Landrum said Harrouf has schizophrenia, which he’s been receiving treatment for while in jail.
“It is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Harrouff was experiencing a decompensated mental state associated with an emerging mood and/or thought disorder resulting in an acute psychiatric episode,” Landrum wrote.
Should Harrouf be found not guilty by reason of insanity, he’ll likely be taken to a mental hospital instead of prison. However, he probably will remain there for life.
“Mental illness is very real and can lead to unintentional, yet tragic, outcomes,” defense attorney Nellie L. King said after learning of Landrum’s findings.
According to TC Palm, prosecutors asked for a second medical opinion. Martin County Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer agreed and canceled the trial for now, which was scheduled for May 18.
Harrouff has been charged two counts of first-degree murder, burglary of a dwelling with assault or battery, and one count of attempted first-degree murder.
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[Feature Photo: Police Handout]