A Florida man believed he was “half dog, half man” on the day he allegedly attacked and killed two people in 2016, according to a mental health report released Thursday.
Police reportedly found Austin Harrouff biting John Stevens III, 59 on Aug. 15, 2016. Stevens III and wife Michelle Mishcon, 53, were allegedly beaten to death as well, the Palm Beach Post reported on Thursday.
Forensic psychologist Phillip Resnick determined Harrouff had “severe mental illness,” “clinical lycanthropy delusions” and was not aware what he was doing was wrong due to mental illness, according to the 38-page report given to The Daily Caller News Foundation by Martin County State Attorney’s Office Friday.
Clinical lycanthropy is a disorder where the person believes he or she is a nonhuman animal, most commonly a werewolf, according to Britannica.
Harrouff believed during the attack he was part dog. The then 19-year-old also thought he was half horse on the day of the alleged attack.
Harrouff reportedly told officers to shoot him, that he deserved to die and that he “ate something bad.”
A deputy asked what he ate.
“I ate humans,” Harrouff allegedly said, according to the report.
An Aug. 16, 2016 drug screening found Harrouff did not have any designer drugs in his system, just a trace of marijuana. Resnick wrote that it was unlikely that the attack was a “drug-induced psychosis” nor did Harrouff fake any symptoms.
Harrouff feared evil spirits like the devil were out to get him days prior to the alleged attack, the report said.
Many witnesses said Harrouff exhibited delusions as well.
“Austin Harrouff was a rising sophomore at FSU (Florida State University) and enrolled for the Fall 2016 semester that had yet to begin,” Amy Farnum-Patronis of FSU Office of University Communications said to TheDCNF over email.
A trial is set for Nov. 4, where attorneys Nellie King and Robert Watson will depend on the insanity defense, the Post reported.
The Florida insanity argument relies on whether the defendant had a mental illness and due to the condition, the individual did not understand his or her actions or did not know what he or she was doing was wrong, the report said.
King wrote Thursday that the findings were “no comfort whatsoever to the families of the victims” and hopes the case recognizes the need for “community mental health treatment and awareness.”
King and Watson did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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