Accused “Cannibal” Austin Harrouff apologized to the families of the couple he’s charged with killing.
“I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I’m so sorry and I never wanted this to happen,” he told Dr. Phil McGraw in a controversial video. “I’m so sorry.”
But his attorney blasted that interview in a new statement. Nellie King said the footage “shows Austin when he was in a vulnerable state, recovering from acute medical and psychological trauma in the sanctity of his hospital room.”
Harrouff faces two counts of first-degree murder for the August 15 double slaying of Florida couple Michelle Mishcon, 53, and John Stevens III, 59, at their home. Deputies say they arrived to find Harrouff biting Stevens’ face.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder openly suggested that Harrouff was high on the drug flakka, but a toxicology report proved that to be incorrect, according to a PEOPLE report from December.
From King’s statement, obtained by Law Newz.
Although defense counsel agrees with the trial court’s ruling that nothing in the video clip provided is prejudicial to Austin Harrouff, “sensationalizing the details of this case pre-trial does nothing to advance justice in the courtroom,” King said. “Nor does this pre-trial discovery information help those suffering from this tragedy, including the family members of Mr. Stevens and Ms. Mischcon,” she added.
She said there’s an investigation into how Dr. Phil managed to interview Harrouff without the knowledge of his lawyer, and while he was under guard by Martin County Sheriff’s Deputies. We’ve reached out to deputies for comment.
TV host Dr. Phil actually managed to interview the defendant month ago. It was scheduled to air in October, but that got postponed. At the time, Dr. Phil spokesman told Law Newz it was because of new “developments” in the case, but didn’t specify why.
On Monday, King filed an appeal to stop the publication of the video, according to TC Palm. That was denied was a judge in West Palm Beach.
“The defendant has no privacy interest in the interview, as he gave it for publication on television,” Circuit Judge Lawrence Mirman said. He wouldn’t extend a two-day stay on the publication of the video.
You can read the full statement here:
[Screengrab via WPTV]