As the family of a southern Martin County couple viciously attacked in their home hopes for justice, accused face-biting double murder suspect Austin Harrouff may have more evidence for his insanity defense.
Austin Harrouff entered a courtroom on Monday in Stuart. Harrouff wore a red-striped jail jump suit, as his attorneys argued for inclusion of all videos of the defendant fighting hospital restraints.
“The defense is allowed to disclose the video,” ruled Circuit Court Judge Sherwood Bauer.
Harrouff is charged with attacking and killing John Stevens and his wife Michelle Mishcon in their home Martin County home-- near Tequesta. Arriving deputies said they found Harrouff growling, and biting at Mr. Stevens' face.
Harrouff’s defense is insanity.
Monday’s hearing centered on a video — described in a defense motion as 1:14 seconds of Harrouff in his hospital bed “fighting against his restraints.”
The filing said, “both hospital staff and a Sheriff’s Deputy had to use force.”
In court, an attorney representing St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, objected to hospital employees being shown in the potential evidence. Harrouff’s attorneys had signed an agreement with the hospital, in conducting the video recording.
Judge Bauer ordered hospital staffers be obscured in the form of the video shared for the court case.
“We do have other video clips, but they show only Mr. Harrouff in the clip,” Robert Watson, one of Harrouff’s attorneys, told the judge.
More possible evidence.
In their motion, defense attorneys said they raised the issue involving the video with hospital employees, because Harrouff’s “behavior in the hospital in the time period after the incident has come into dispute.”
The motion included an email from a deputy assigned to the Harrouff hospital guard detail.
The deputy wrote in the email, Harrouff “keeps waking up from full sedation and trying to kick and get his hands loose.”
The deputy cited a nurse who reportedly said “a normal person should never wake up with the amount of sedation he is on.”
Harrouff is currently set for trial in November.