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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A 19-year old Florida State University student accused of attacking and killing a couple then biting a victim’s face off is now facing formal criminal charges.
A gaunt-looking Austin Harrouff was spotted in handcuffs Monday afternoon after he was discharged from St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach where he’s been since the August 14th attack.
Harrouff was formally charged with two counts of 1st-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the deadly attack. He was booked into Martin County Jail just before 1 p.m. and has no bond. The Sheriff’s Office served an arrest warrant Sunday night after the hospital informed authorities of his Monday release.
The attack left 59-year-old John Stevens III and 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon dead outside their home near Jupiter. Their neighbor, Jeff Fisher, who tried to intervene in the attack before calling 911 was also injured.
When deputies first arrived, they said Harrouff was intertwined with John Stevens on the floor of the garage. Deputies said Harrouff was biting Stevens’ face and stomach after stabbing Stevens and his wife Michelle. They were so intertwined that deputies could not use deadly force to pull him off. It took Tasers, deputies, and a dog to finally get Harrouff under control.
Police believe Harrouff may have taken “caustic” chemicals in the couple’s garage and his father has said his son’s liver was malfunctioning before the incident. Martin County Sheriff’s investigators told WPEC, our CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, that they are not sure if Harrouff drank the chemicals to harm himself or if he was just thirsty.
At the time of his arrest, Harrouff dared police to test him for drugs. He tested negative for common street drugs like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine. The results of more extensive testing to determine whether he may have ingested bath salts or flakka are still pending.
The former high school football player and wrestler made YouTube videos about bodybuilding and often spoke of an apparent internal struggle to not use steroids.
As for the home on Kokomo Lane where the attack happened, it’s now up for sale.