Austin Harrouff challenged deputies, “Test me. You won’t find any drugs.” So test him they did.
The long-awaited toxicology results for the Florida State University student accused of murdering a middle-aged Tequesta couple in a cannibalistic attack show the 19-year-old didn’t have Flakka or bath salts in his system that August night, as some have speculated.
Harrouff wandered away from a family dinner and walked two miles down the road, where prosecutors allege he randomly and viciously killed John and Michelle Mishcon Stevens with his fists, a folded knife, a corkscrew and a pair of blue-handled scissors. Mishcon Stevens was the daughter of a former North Miami Beach mayor, Jeff Mishcon.
Harrouff is also accused of stabbing a neighbor who tried to intervene.
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But what set Harrouff’s story apart was how deputies say they found him: crouched atop John Stevens’ body, chewing on his face.
Initial tests showed Harrouff wasn’t on any common street drugs — like cocaine, heroin or marijuana. These results, based on blood and urine samples, were sent to the FBI lab at Quantico, Virginia, for a more thorough test.
Harrouff had alcohol and trace amounts of THC, the active component in marijuana, in his system, as well as various other drugs his lawyer said were “medically introduced” while he was in the hospital after the incident. Harrouff told paramedics he had smoked marijuana and drank alcohol, court records show.
The alcohol in his system could have come from solvents or chemicals law enforcement speculated Harrouff drank while in the garage, which could have been why Harrouff had a burned esophagus and internal organs.
In the months since the slayings, Harrouff’s father, Wade, gave an on-camera interview to the Dr. Phil show, where he blamed his son’s actions on untreated mental illness.
The family’s lawyer, Nellie King, repeated in a statement that Austin Harrouff “is struggling from a severe mental illness” and the test results were what the family expected.
“We know this information will be of no comfort to the victims’ families and friends, but, as painful as this process is, it is critical for everyone involved to examine the facts and avoid jumping to conclusions,” King wrote in the statement.
Last week, Harrouff pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and burglary. He requested a trial by jury.
He’s being held in the medical unit of Martin County Jail.