Former FSU student, 19-year-old Austin Harrouff was finally charged on October 3 with two counts of first degree murder for the brutal killings of a Florida couple, 59-year-old John Stevens and 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon back in August, due to the fact that the accused suspect remained in a coma for weeks following the murders. And now the already bizarre and tragic case is taking yet another bizarre turn, because several media outlets are reporting that just days before his formal arrest, Harrouff gave a phone interview with Dr. Phil which is set to air this Friday.
Harrouff’s father, Wade Harrouff, previously gave a televised interview on the Dr. Phil show less than two weeks after the night his son was found mutilating the corpse of John Stevens. This time Stevens’ son John Stevens IV is speaking out, calling the accused murderer of his father a “monster.”
“I’ve never seen a black or minority suspect with such an inherent sympathetic spin (as Harrouff is getting),” he said. “They make him seem as sympathetic as possible because he’s privileged and white, and it’s really and really sad.”
“We all live in a time when we’re cynical about media and law enforcement,” he said. “My reaction is general disgust. I really hope people can use their brains and see that (Harrouff) is a monster,” Stevens said.
Be that as it may, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told the Palm Beach Post that there was nothing that could have legally been done to stop the interview. Even if Harrouff had been arrested at the time, his office (and law enforcement in general) can’t bar those charged with a crime from speaking with the media if they wish to do so.
As crass and and hurtful as the national media spectacle may be to the families of the victims, Sheriff Snyder pointed out during a taped press conference Tuesday: “Anybody that makes a statement to the press, there’s nothing to do with Miranda [rights] there, and anything he says can and will be used against him later on. So we never push back on requests to talk to the press. We just never know. We may hit a home run without even swinging the bat, and get somebody to incriminate themselves.”
So while that’s probably of little consolation to the victims’ families now, it could mean that they may not have to endure a long, drawn out trial down the road. You can listen to the sheriff’s statement below.