FSU student accused in Martin County face-eating attack regains consciousness

Austin Harrouff, 19, hasn't been able to provide statement to detectives

Austin Harrouff, 19, was enrolled at Florida State University, where he was about to begin his sophomore year.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Florida State University student accused of killing a Martin County couple in their garage and injuring a neighbor who tried to stop him has regained consciousness, Martin County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Trisha Kukuvka said Friday.

Although Austin Harrouff, 19, is awake and responsive, he has not been able to provide a statement to detectives, Kukuvka said.

Harrouff remains at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he has been since the Aug. 15 attack. He is expected to be charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Michelle Mishcon Stevens and John Stevens. He also faces a charge of attempted first-degree murder in the attack on Jeffrey Fisher.

Fisher, 47, was released from the hospital last week.

Sheriff William Snyder said deputies found Harrouff on top of John Stevens, biting and removing pieces of the victim's face with his teeth.

Snyder said the first deputy who arrived tried to stop Harrouff with a Taser, but that didn't stop him. More deputies and a K-9 unit were called and eventually overpowered him.

Harrouff's parents released a statement expressing their "deepest sympathy for the pain and suffering" caused by their son.

Snyder said the FSU student, who was in town visiting his family, stabbed the couple inside their garage after leaving a Duffy's restaurant in Jupiter, where he had an argument with his father.

Kukuvka said blood tests have been sent to the FBI to determine whether Harrouff was on "flakka" or bath salts at the time of the attack. She said initial tests were negative for street drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine.

About the Author:

Peter Burke returned for a second stint of duty at Local 10 News in February 2014.