Lawyer: Parents of face-biting slaying suspect want to 'hold his hand'


The parents of the teen who officials say fatally stabbed a Florida couple, then bit the man in the face, are asking to be with their son "to hold his hand," the teenager’s lawyer, Michelle Suskauer, told WPTV.

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Austin Harrouff, 19, was in serious condition Monday night, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said. He is sedated in intensive care, Suskauer told WPTV, and can't communicate. Suskauer will represent the Florida State University sophomore if he survives.

"Everyone is in absolute shock. His family is completely devastated, devastated for the other family and certainly devastated for their son," said Suskauer, who also has provided analysis of court cases on WPTV.

Friends say Harrouff, who has no criminal record, wouldn’t "hurt a fly."

It took a Taser, multiple deputies and a K9 unit to subdue Harrouff so officers could pull him from 59-year-old John Stevens, from whose face the teen was biting pieces of flesh, according to a post on the Tequesta Police Department's Facebook page.

"K9 Boss allowed the deputies and officers on scene to gain the needed compliance that the Taser was unable to achieve," the post reads.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of the victims in the terrible incident that took place in...

Posted by Tequesta Police Department on Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Snyder called the teen "abnormally strong."

Harrouff fatally stabbed Stevens and his wife, 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon, at their home in a high-end community in Martin County, Florida.

The teen, Snyder said, was coming from dinner with his parents about four miles away. The couple was in their garage, a frequent hang out spot for the husband and wife. Mishcon called it the "garage-mahal," Stevens' son, who bears his name, said.

A neighbor tried to intervene but was stabbed, too, Snyder said. He was taken into surgery Monday night with "substantial trauma," according to the sheriff.


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