The state of Florida has now filed formal charges against the man who allegedly attacked a couple in their garage, killing them and then biting the man in the face and abdomen. A third person, a neighbor who tried to come to their rescue, was also injured, but he survived. Austin Harrouff had originally been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, and continues to be held without bail in the hospital ward of the local jail.
At this time, it is still unknown if Austin Harrouff was under the influence of Flakka or bath salts, as those blood tests are being run this week by the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, as local hospitals are unable to test for new designer drugs, says the Inquisitr. Harrouff’s family believes that he suffered some sort of psychotic break or sudden onset of mental illness, and that caused his erratic behavior on the night of the murders.
The Martin County Florida prosecutor has just filed formal charges against Austin Harrouff so that he can continue to be held without bail until the grand jury convenes. The original charges against Harrouff have been altered in order for the prosecutor to take the case to the grand jury with the hope of getting an indictment, says the Palm Beach Post.
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Harrouff was back in court Wednesday, wearing a bullet-proof vest, in order to have the formal charges against him read. Harrouff was charged with two counts of second-degree murder with a weapon, one count of attempted first-degree murder with a weapon, and one burglary of a dwelling with assault or battery.
Harrouff’s victims are John Stevens and his wife Michelle Mishcon of Southeast Kokomo Lane in Jupiter, Florida, who were killed in the attack. Their neighbor, Jeffrey Fisher, who heard their screams and came to help, was badly injured trying to pull Harrouff off of Stevens. From the first time Harrouff was charged, prosecutors had three weeks to formally charge him while he was being held without bond.
The state reportedly wants to move back to first-degree murder charges, but that case will be made to the grand jury, which at this time still does not have a scheduled date. State Attorney Bruce Colton will meet with prosecutors and senior advisers to decide whether or not to pursue the death penalty.
As of now, the attack by Austin Harrouff of the couple in Jupiter seems to have been unprovoked, and without any triggering event, says TCPalm. At the time of the attack, Harrouff had walked out of a restaurant where he was attending a family dinner and seemed to be heading to his father’s house when he came upon Stevens and Mishcon, allegedly watching television in their garage.
Prosecutors were racing against the clock to formalize charges against Austin Harrouff so that his lawyer could not request another bail hearing, which might have resulted in him being freed on bond. Jail records show that Harrouff’s attorney, Robert Watson, has visited him twice since he was put behind bars. Harrouff has also listed his parents and grandparents as approved visitors.
Austin Harrouff’s family has put $200 on his commissary account, and so far, he has spent $136. So far Harrouff has bought a battery-operated radio with ear buds, personal hygiene items, a crossword puzzles book, and snacks, including chips, Doritos, Cheez-Its, popcorn, nacho dip, Ruffles cheddar, iced tea, and fruit punch.
Do you think that the state of Florida will seek the death penalty against Austin Harrouff?
[Featured Image by Martin County Sheriffs Office/AP Images]