Face-biting attack trial underway | CTV News



A trial for a former school pupil who randomly killed a Florida couple of their storage six years in the past after which chewed on one sufferer’s face was set to start Monday.

Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer will determine whether or not Austin Harrouff, 25, goes to jail for the remainder of his life, or to a psychological hospital. Harrouff waived a jury trial after pleading not responsible by motive of madness to 2 counts of first-degree assassination and different costs for the 2016 slayings of John Stevens, 59, and his spouse, Michelle Mishcon Stevens, 53. He additionally critically injured a neighbor who tried to assist them.

The trial for the previous Florida State University pupil has been delayed by the pandemic, authorized wrangling and Harrouff’s restoration from crucial accidents suffered whereas consuming a chemical in the course of the attack. It is being held in Stuart, north of West Palm Beach, and is predicted to final about three weeks.

Defendants are presumed sane underneath Florida regulation, that means that Harrouff should present he had a extreme psychological breakdown that prevented him from understanding actions or that they had been even improper by “clear and convincing” proof.

He has claimed he was fleeing a demon when the attack occurred.

If the choose agrees he was insane, Harrouff shall be dedicated to a safe psychological hospital till docs and a choose agree that he’s now not harmful. Craig Trocino, a University of Miami regulation professor, stated it will successfully be a life sentence as a result of “it is extremely unlikely” that they’d danger releasing a killer as infamous as Harrouff.

If convicted, Harrouff shall be sentenced to life in jail with out the opportunity of parole; prosecutors waived the demise penalty.

Harrouff’s mother and father, who’re divorced, and others stated he had acted unusually for weeks. His mother and father had arrange an appointment for him to be evaluated, however the attack occurred first.


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