STUART, Fla. » More than a month after deputies say Austin Harrouff fatally stabbed a Martin County couple, the Jupiter teen is in jail.
Harrouff was brought 35 miles north from St. Mary’s Medical Center to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, where he was processed at about 1:30 p.m. local time today. About an hour later, Harrouff was brought to the nearby county jail, where he will be held in a medical ward.
A noticeably thinner and visibly dazed Harrouff didn’t respond to reporters’ questions as he walked into the sheriff’s office.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said the 19-year-old, who once was a body builder, hadn’t spoken to officials yet, either.
With his hospital release, Harrouff officially has been charged, Snyder said at a news conference today, with two counts of first-degree murder in the Aug. 15 deaths of John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon at their home just north of the Jupiter border, and one count of attempted first-degree murder of a neighbor, Jeff Fisher, who tried to stop the attacks.
Sheriff’s deputies found Harrouff at the couple’s home on Southeast Kokomo Lane, clinging to Stevens and biting off pieces of the man’s face. He already had bitten the man’s abdomen, deputies said.
It took a Taser, a K-9 and multiple deputies to pull Harrouff off Stevens, Snyder said.
Officials have speculated that drugs triggered the fatal attack. Initial tests showed Harrouff didn’t have more common drugs like cocaine, marijuana or heroin, in his system at the time of the attack. The FBI is conducting more thorough testing, which will offer more insight into whether Harrouff was under the influence of substances such as bath salts and flakka at the time of the violent, and seemingly random, attack.
It’s still unclear when those results will be ready. The sheriff’s office has said the results won’t change the charges against Harrouff.
As for Harrouff’s condition, Snyder said he likely will need therapy.
“We made it clear to the hospital this is a jail, not a therapeutic place to be,” Snyder said.