A college student from Florida who stabbed a couple to death and then was found by police chewing off one of their faces is finally facing justice for the depraved act… or is he?
This was over six years ago, but if you’re like us you’ve never forgotten this case! Back in 2016, then-19-year-old Florida State University student Austin Harrouff was found by police in the garage of John Stevens and his wife Michelle Mishcon Stevens. The 59-year-old man and 53-year-old woman had just been killed inside, stabbed to death. Their neighbor was also attacked. When cops arrived on scene, they reported finding Harrouff literally eating John’s face.
With the work of multiple officers, a police dog, and a stun gun, Harrouff was eventually subdued. Following the killings, cops stated they believed the young man had been using hallucinogenic drugs — possibly bath salts or flakka. He denied using drugs but later sat down for a television interview with Dr. Phil in which he claimed to have blacked out and been completely unaware of his actions prior to and during the attack.
Now, it appears some closure has come in the case. On Monday, a judge in Florida accepted the defense’s plea of not guilty — by reason of insanity. These pleas are extremely rare, filed in less than 1% of cases — and often not accepted by the court.
As part of the deal, Harrouff will avoid a jury trial. Instead, he will be sent to a mental health facility where he will stay until doctors and a judge can all collectively agree he no longer poses a threat to society.
But while Harrouff may end up being locked away for quite a long time in this case, the Stevens family is shocked at how he sidestepped prison. In an emotional victim impact statement in court on Monday, John’s daughter Ivy Stevens slammed Harrouff and criticized the judge for allowing the insanity plea:
“Now, when I think of my dad and Michelle, I imagine them lifeless and mutilated. I am so angry that this is the only way that I can remember them now. I am angry they won’t be remembered for the life they lived before you, only the headlines that you have turned them into.”
“You are a disgusting human with a rancid soul. A sick animal that should have been put down a long time ago. You deserve nothing more than to feel despair and debilitating guilt for what you did every second of the day for the rest of your sad, meaningless and pathetic life. I hope death comes for you sooner than later and when it does, I will rejoice because only then will justice be truly served for John and Michelle. I hope you burn in hell. Along with your parents.”
Holy s**t. That’s quite a statement!
Per Court TV, one of Michelle’s grieving sisters added her own statement, too:
“It’s so sad that one person could take so much from so many other people. You destroyed our family. No one in your family has taken responsibility for what’s happened. Not even you. I hate you. I hate you all. I hate what you did. I really think you deserve to die, Austin. Your family deserves to suffer, the way my family suffers. And sadly, I don’t think anyone in here is ever going to suffer how Michelle and John did.”
The grieving sister also had a message for Austin’s parents, who were sitting in the courtroom:
“You should have done something sooner. You both said your son acted strangely for weeks leading up to the murders and you even set up an appointment for him to be evaluated. You should have done your job better, quicker. Your parents. You should have been better. You should have done more. You failed miserably. Because you failed as parents, my sister and brother-in-law are dead.”
Here is more from Monday’s insanity plea events:
Understandably, emotions were running very high in that courtroom.
Honestly, can you blame the victims’ family members for being so angry? Such a terrible, senseless situation and a horrific way to die. We can’t imagine what their lives have been like grieving these awful losses for the past six years. And now… not guilty.
What do YOU think? Is he getting off light? Or is this worse than prison??
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