Face-eating murder suspect says he escaped demonic creature named 'Daniel'

A 20-year-old Florida State student accused of killing a couple in Florida last year and then chewing on the dead man's face said in a newly released video that he's sorry for what happened, claiming he thought a "dark figure" named Daniel was chasing him.

Prosecutors in Martin County on Tuesday released copies of Austin Harrouff's tear-filled Skype interview with Dr. Phil McGraw last year for the TV show "Dr. Phil." A defense request to stop the video's release was unsuccessful.


Harrouff spoke to McGraw from his hospital bed in late 2016 just weeks before his arrest on two counts of first-degree murder in the killings of John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, on Aug. 15 in the garage of their home in Jupiter, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

"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," Harrouff told McGraw in the video, appealing to the victims' families. "I'm so sorry."


He claimed the demonic figure named Daniel told him, "Hey Austin," frightening him -- so he bolted, and spotted the open garage door near the site where the attack would unfold.

"I have a faint memory of taking my pants off at some point before I saw Daniel, but, like, I never realized that my clothes were off later," Harrouff added.

He denied he ever took the synthetic street drug known as flakka, which doctors have said can cause unpredictable behavior.

"I don't think I was thinking straight," Harrouff also said, adding that the incident was "like a blur" to him.

The full interview is set to air on Thursday.

The video "shows Austin when he was in a vulnerable state, recovering from acute medical and psychological trauma in the sanctity of his hospital room," defense attorney Nellie King responded.

The couple was attacked shortly after Harrouff stormed out of a dinner with his father and others. His parents say he had been acting strangely.

His mother, Mina Harrouff, told police he claimed to have superpowers and that he had been sent to help people. She said his bed had been moved to the garage because he thought there were demons in the house, and that a few hours before the attack, she stopped him from drinking cooking oil from the bottle, only to find him eating a bowl of cooking oil and cheese.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.