A Florida man is facing a judge after he was fatally attacked with a face-biter.
Monday was the start of a trial for a former college student that randomly killed a couple in Florida six years ago, and then chewed on one of the victims’ faces.
Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer will decide if Austin Harrouff (25), is sent to prison or to a mental institution for the rest of their life. After pleading not guilty to two counts first-degree murder, Harrouff waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded not guilty by reason for insanity, Harrouff was convicted of other charges related the 2016 murders of John Stevens (59) and Michelle Mishcon Stevens (53). A neighbor who attempted to assist them was also severely injured.
The pandemic, legal wrangling, and Harrouff’s rehabilitation from the critical injuries sustained while drinking a chemical during an attack have delayed the trial of the ex-student at Florida State University. It will be held in Stuart, north-west of West Palm Beach and should last approximately three weeks.
Florida law presumes that defendants are sane. This means that Harrouff must prove that he suffered a severe mental breakdown and was unable to understand actions or that they were wrong.
He claimed that he was fleeing from a demon at the time of the attack.
Harrouff will be placed in a secure mental institution until doctors and a judge determine that he is safe. Craig Trocino, University of Miami law professor, stated that it would be a life sentence since “it’s highly unlikely” that they would release a murderer as famous as Harrouff.
Harrouff, if convicted, will receive a life sentence in prison without parole. Prosecutors waived the death penalty.
Harrouff’s parents are divorcées. Others said that he was acting strangely for several weeks. Harrouff’s parents had scheduled an appointment to have him evaluated but the attack happened first.