FSU Student Who Allegedly Tried to Eat Man's Face Charged with Murder
Police are still trying to determine a motive for Austin Harrouff's alleged attack
Formal murder and attempted murder charges have been filed against the 19-year-old Florida State University sophomore accused of stabbing a couple to death and trying to eat one victim’s face, PEOPLE confirms.
Austin Harrouff will be transported from St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he has been a patient since the alleged August 15 attack, to the Martin County Jail, a Martin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman tells PEOPLE.
Authorities had initially said they would not charge Harrouff until after he was discharged from the hospital, but announced the filing of three criminal counts – two for murder and one for attempted murder – on Monday morning.
The spokeswoman would not comment on Harrouff’s medical condition, but said he would be incarcerated Monday. For weeks after the alleged attack, Harrouff was listed as being in critical but stable condition.
Until recently, Harrouff could not speak, so investigators were unable to question him about the murders of John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, the spokeswoman says.
The couple’s bodies were found in the garage of their Tequesta home. Upon arriving at the scene, officers allegedly had to pull Harrouff off of Stevens. As he was allegedly biting Stevens, officers kicked Harrouff in the face several times, with no effect, police said.
According to police, Harrouff was allegedly biting chunks off of Stevens’ face and had bitten into his abdomen.
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Police allege that before the killings, Harrouff consumed unspecified chemicals that he’d found in the couple’s garage. Doctors say he has injuries consistent with caustic chemical consumption, and in August, Harrouff’s father told PEOPLE his son’s organs were failing as a result.
RELATED VIDEO: FSU Student Who Allegedly Tried to Eat Man’s Face Suffering Organ Failure After Drinking Chemicals
After the attack, police speculated Harrouff may have been under the influence of the synthetic drug flakka at the time of the alleged attack. Harrouff tested negative for common street drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted more extensive testing to determine whether Harrouff was under the influence of bath salts or flakka, the results of which are not back yet.
The attempted murder charge stems from Harrouff’s alleged stabbing of the couple’s neighbor, 47-year-old Jeff Fisher, who tried to stop the attack, police say.
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for Harrouff’s alleged attack.
It is unclear whether a lawyer has been hired for Harrouff’s impending defense.