A ‘cannibal’ teenager accused of murdering a couple and chewing on their flesh was interviewed crying and apologising to their family.
Austin Harrouff, a student at Florida State University, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder of John Stevens, 59, and his wife Michelle Mischon, 53, at their home in Tequesta, Florida.
Police found the then 19-year-old student in his underwear at the scene, ‘grunting and growling’ as he bit off chunks of Steven’s face before he was stunned with a gun and taken to hospital.
Harrouff allegedly used a pair of scissors, a corkscrew and a knife to slaughter the couple, in his killing spree.
Before Harrouff’s court appearance, he spoke to TV psychologist Dr Phil McGraw.
Despite the footage being filmed in October last year, a judge ruled that the 22 minute video link was not allowed to be made public until now.
In the video link, Harrouff said:
I felt terrible. I really, really don’t have words to explain how I feel. It’s like a nightmare.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I never imagined this would ever happen and I am deeply sorry to the family that was affected and I hope something like this never happens again.
I didn’t ever want to consciously want to do something like this. I never planned it, I didn’t want to do it.
The university frat boy and body builder began the evening of the incident on August 14 2016 in a restaurant with his family before he stormed out after an argument, the Mirror reports.
It is not known whether Harrouff is severely mentally ill or had taken some sort of drugs, but it is reported that he believed he had ‘superpowers’ and that his house was possessed by ‘demons’ forcing him to move his bed to his garage.
FBI toxicology reports show Harrouff had no drugs in his system, except for a trace of marijuana, despite the County Sheriff suspecting he had been under the influence of either flakka or bath salts.
Harrouff’s father revealed he had been acting strangely prior to the incident. Wade described his son’s ‘manic behaviour’ in the days leading up to the attack, claiming the 19-year-old’s personality had changed drastically about two weeks before the killings.
He described a dinner with Austin and his sister at a restaurant during which the teen stormed off to his mum’s house where he attempted to down vegetable oil.
Harrouff begged the victims’ family for forgiveness:
I’m sorry for their loss and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.
I’m so sorry and I never wanted this to happen. I’m so sorry. It’s like a nightmare. I just don’t know how to say, how to put it into words. I never wanted this to happen.
I just want [the families] to l know I’m sorry. I can’t imagine how it must feel.
Harrouff has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first degree murder, and was also charged for stabbing the couple’s neighbour Jeff Fisher who tried to help the couple before calling the police.
If he is found guilty, the ‘cannibal’ could receive the death penalty.