Former FSU student accused of murder to claim insanity

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By: Amy Robinson | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 11, 2017

Austin Harrouff / Martin County Sheriff's Office

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A former Florida State University student accused in a gruesome double murder in South Florida is expected to use an insanity defense in court.

Austin Harrouff allegedly attacked and killed 59-year-old John Stevens and 53-year-old Michelle Mischon in the driveway of their Tequesta, Florida home in August of 2016.

When police arrived on scene, Harrouff was reportedly on top of Stevens, biting his face and making animal noises.

Investigators have said that the deadly attack was random and unprovoked.

In a video interview with Dr. Phil just two weeks after the murders, a tearful Harrouff said he only had vague memories of what unfolded that night. He also claimed he had been running from a demon-like figure named Daniel just before the attack.

Last week, Harrouff's lawyers filed a notice of intent to rely on an insanity defense.

Defense lawyers claim Harouff suffered a "full-blown psychotic episode" on the night of the murders and either did not know what he was doing or its consequences, or did not know that what he was doing was wrong.

The defense is expected to call on Dr. Phillip Resnick, the Director of Forensic Psychiatry at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, to prove the insanity defense.

Harouff is facing two counts of first-degree murder, and one count each of attempted murder and armed burglary with assault.



 
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