FBI: No hallucinogens found in system of face-biting suspect
STUART, Fla. (AP) - The Florida college student accused of randomly killing a couple and chewing on the dead man's face had no detectable hallucinogenic drugs in his system, according an FBI toxicology report released Wednesday.
Austin Harrouff had a trace of amount of marijuana in his system when he allegedly killed John Stevens, 59, and his 53-year-old wife, Michelle Mishcon, outside their Tequesta-area home Aug. 15, according to the report.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder had previously speculated that Harrouff may have been on flakka or bath salts, but those drugs were not detected.
Harrouff, 19, was hospitalized for two months after the killings for a burned esophagus, possibly from ingesting chemicals found in the couple's garage.
Nellie King, Harrouff's attorney, said in a statement Wednesday that her client is mentally ill.
"The judicial process will bear all of this out in due time," King said.
Prosecutors declined comment.
Harrouff has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
Deputies had said that when they arrived at the couple's home, they found the then-muscular former high school football player and wrestler in his underwear, making animal noises and biting Stevens' face as he pinned his victim's body to the driveway.
According to court documents, one deputy ordered Harrouff off Stevens at gunpoint while another used an electric stun gun on him but he wouldn't let go. Snyder has said the deputies didn't shoot Harrouff because they feared hitting Stevens.
Finally, a deputy with a dog arrived and its bites enabled deputies to subdue Harrouff. Mishcon's body was found in the garage.
Harrouff, who had no previous arrest record, 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. He begged deputies to kill him after they pulled him off Stevens' body, according to the records.
"Shoot me now, I deserve to die," Harrouff said.
Less than an hour before the attack, Harrouff was having dinner with his father, sister and a friend at a restaurant about 4 miles from the victims' house when he apparently had words with his father. Surveillance video shows him calmly walking out about 45 minutes before the stabbings, and his family was concerned.
His mother, unaware of the attack, called police to report him missing; she said he had been acting strangely for about a week, claiming to have superpowers and to have been sent here to help people.
The victims lived a short distance from Harrouff's father and were known to sit in their garage with the door open, watching television and chatting with passers-by.
Harrouff's parents issued a statement days after the slayings expressing their condolences to the Stevens family and apologies to neighbor Jeff Fisher, who was stabbed as he tried to rescue the couple.