Florida ‘cannibal’ killer Austin Harrouff could be free in six months


A Florida frat boy who murdered a married couple and chewed the face of one victim could be free in as few as six months after being deemed not guilty by reason of insanity this week.

Michelle Mishcon’s sisters said prosecutors told them Austin Harrouff could get out of a mental rehabilitation hospital in a matter of months after Monday’s controversial plea deal was announced — on the same day his trial was supposed to start.

“They told us that he’ll now go to some sort of mental hospital, but it’s not a place where people are held for long,” Cindy Mishcon told The Post. “You go, you get treated, you get out.”

She said staffers from the Martin County State Attorney’s Office gave them a rough release window of just six to 12 months.

Harrouff, now 25, butchered John Stevens and Michelle Mischon in their Jupiter, Florida, garage with a machete in 2016, and was found by police gnawing on Stevens’ face as he lay dying.

The grisly slayings shocked the country after it emerged Harrouff left a bloody mess across the couple’s driveway and garage and sheriff’s deputies described how the college student was growling like a dog and had abnormal strength — with several deputies needing to pull him off of Stevens.

Austin Harrouff butchered a Florida couple in their garage with a machete in 2016.
John Stevens and Cindy Mischon
Harrouff was found eating John Stevens’ face after murdering him and his wife Cindy Mischon.
Splash News

Harrouff’s family, including his dentist father Wade Harrouff, insisted that the former Florida State fraternity brother suffered from acute mental illness at the time of the slayings and had acted strangely in the preceding weeks.

But the victims’ relatives have flatly rejected that portrayal, arguing in court Monday that Harrouff had a documented history of hard drug use and manufactured a mental illness defense.

“This should have gone to trial,” said Jodi Bruce, another sister of Mishcon. “We thought it was going to trial all the way until last week, and then they told us he was getting a deal. It’s just unbelievable. He killed two people, and no trial. The prosecutors in this case just didn’t have what it took to handle it.”

Austin Harrouff
Family members blame the cannibal’s mental health for his odd behavior.

Austin Harrouff
Harrouff was deemed insane after the killings.

Austin Harrouff
It took several authorities to pull Harrouff off the Stevens’ body.

Harrouf has been jailed since the incident.

Martin County prosecutor Brandon White, who has been assigned to the case for the last three years, said his office reluctantly accepted the plea deal — and that a six-month release would be a “worst-case” scenario.

The defense and prosecution each tapped a psychologist to evaluate Harrouff after the killings, and both deemed him insane at the time.

Austin Harrouff
The now 25-year-old man used this machete to butcher the helpless couple.
Martin County Sheriff’s Office

The Martin County State Attorney’s Office sought a second opinion from another doctor, who concluded that Harrouff was likely on drugs or in withdrawals during the crime, and not simply crazy.

But that doctor suffered a recent health setback that made him unavailable to testify at trial, White said.

“We would have had our hands tied behind our back,” he said, asserting that he rued the final outcome of the case and hopes to have certain laws changed surrounding insanity defenses.

Prosecutors were also hampered by FBI toxicology reports that showed only THC in Harrouff’s system.

Austin Harrouff
Mishcon’s sisters said prosecutors told them Harrouff could get out of a mental rehabilitation hospital in a matter of months.
AP/Xavier Mascarenas

But White noted that some drugs — including newer synthetic varieties — do not always show up on tests.

The Mishcons have argued the two psychologists who found Harrouff insane at the time of the killings relied largely on what he told them during interviews.

“He said he thought he was a half-dog,” Cindy Mishcon said. “We have all those text messages with friends and his family all the way up to the murders. He never mentions anything about that. He just spoke normally.”

Wade Harrouff appeared on “Dr. Phil “in 2018, telling the host that his son was acting erratically in the weeks before the slaying and that his mother had made an appointment for him to be seen by a doctor.

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