Fla. face-biting attack suspect may face death penalty

An inset image of murder suspect Austin Harrouff, on top of the scene where he allegedly bit the face of one of his victims in Tequesta, Florida

WPEC-TV

TEQUESTA, Fla. -- The Martin County Sheriff’s office says authorities will seek the death penalty or life in prison for a 19-year-old college student who detectives say was found biting the face of a man after stabbing him and his wife outside their outside their Florida home.

A statement from sheriff’s spokeswoman Trisha Kukuvka Friday says Austin Harrouff will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 59-year-old John Stevens and his 53-year-old wife, Michelle Mishcon.

He also will be charged with attempted first-degree murder in the stabbing of their neighbor, Jeff Fisher, who triedto intervene.

Stevens’ son John Stevens IV tells the Sun Sentinel he wants prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

Investigators believe a synthetic drug like Flakka or bath salts may have fueled the “random” attack,” but the younger Stevens says knowing the attacker’s  mindset is not “super important” to him. He just wants him to “pay for what he did.”

Authorities are still awaiting lab test results.

Harrouff is still hospitalized and the sheriff has suggested that he won’t be formally charged until his release.

His attorney, Robert Watson, did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment.