Relatives of a Florida couple who were brutally murdered in their home blamed “white rich boy justice” after the killer was found not guilty for insanity.
university student Austin Haruf25, randomly attacked John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon Stevens, 53, in a Tequesta, Fla. garage in 2016, biting one of the victims in the face. have been found, officials said.
Harrouff also seriously injured a neighbor who came to the couple’s aid. He had pleaded not guilty to his two counts of first-degree murder and other charges.
Circuit Court Judge Sherwood Bauer accepted a plea bargain at a hearing Monday, allowing Haruf to be held in a safe mental health facility until the judge and doctors agree he no longer poses a danger. confirmed.
The stunned family opposed the plea bargain in a statement on impact on emotional victims filed in court.
Cindy Mishcon, whose sister was murdered, said Haruf and his family tried to make themselves victims, but in reality he was a “ruthless killer.” Associated Press.
“Here we are opening the prison doors for a double murderer,” Mishcon, an attorney, said.
“Four words come to mind. White rich boy justice.
Another Mishcon sister, Jody Bruce, said: It was news to me. “
Forensic psychologist Dr. Philip Resnick concluded in a mental health report published in 2019 that Harouf believed himself to be “half dog, half human” during the incident.
He knew no victims and reportedly believed himself to be being pursued by demons.
Harouf, who was attending Florida State University at the time, would face life in prison if convicted.
It turned out that he had purchased hallucinogenic mushrooms days before the attack, but officials said they found no trace of them in his blood.
Harouf’s parents told investigators their son had been acting strangely for weeks and set up a mental health assessment, but the killing took place before he was seen.
The court heard that two mental health professionals, one for the defense and one for the prosecution, found that he was suffering from psychotic episodes during the attack and could not distinguish between right and wrong.
Harouf will remain in Martin County Jail until transferred to a secure facility monitored by the state.
He is not allowed to leave it without a court order.
The victim’s family is angry about the plea bargain and has issued a statement to the court regarding the impact on the victim.
Michelle Mishcon’s sister, Cindy Mishcon, called him “not a victim, but a ruthless killer.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/austin-harrouff-florida-killings-hospital-b2234861.html Family acquits college student who killed couple, bit victim’s face