John Stevens IV doesn’t want Austin Harrouff’s “crocodile tears” apology. Stevens, the son of 59-year-old John Stevens whom investigators say was killed by Harrouff, said his infant daughter will never know her grandfather. There is no apology that can change that.
So when he heard Harrouff — the 20-year-old Jupiter resident investigators say killed Stevens and his wife, Michelle, and was found biting Stevens face on Aug. 15 — apologize for his actions and ask for forgiveness, he said he lost it.
“His apology means nothing to me,” Stevens said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday. “If they want to apologize to us, stop this, tell the truth.”
On Tuesday, the State Attorney’s Office in Martin County released a 22-minute-long interview between Dr. Phil McGraw and Harrouff that was recorded just days before Harrouff was arrested and booked into the Martin County Jail. The interview is set to air on CBS today at 4 p.m. Harrouff was charged by a grand jury with two counts of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbings of Stevens, 59, and his wife, Michelle Mishcon, 53. Martin County Sheriff’s Office investigators say.
Throughout the interview, Harrouff tells Dr. Phil he doesn’t remember much from the attack, but remembers a “dark-figure” named Daniel who called his name.
“I don’t remember thinking at all. It’s like a blur,” Harrouff said. “I don’t think I was thinking straight.”
On the night of the fatal attacks, it took a Taser, several kicks to his head and a police dog to get the then-19-year-old Harrouff off of Stevens, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators originally believed that Harrouff was under the influence of a synthetic drug like bath salts or flakka. A toxicology report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation was negative for any such kind of drug.
One of Harrouff’s attorneys, Nellie King, released a statement this week saying the video is “one of the many pieces of evidence demonstrating the deterioration of Austin’s mental health.” King said her client was suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness at the time of the attacks. At this time, neither the family nor his counsel has said whether he’s been formally diagnosed.
Stevens’ son, who lives in a suburb of Kansas City, Kan., said the interview makes him angry because Harrouff comes off as disingenuous but asks for forgiveness for the families. Stevens, who has a 5-year-old and an infant, said anyone who has children knows when the tears are fake.
“Sure, he looked sad and disheveled. But he’s not sad about what he did — he’s sad that he’s about to go to jail,” he said.
Stevens said what adds to his anger was Harrouff’s father’s comments about neighbor Jeff Fisher. Fisher was Stevens and Mishcon’s neighbor on Southeast Kokomo Lane who heard Harrouff attacking Mishcon that night and went over to try to save her. Stevens calls him a hero.
“The report is, you severely wounded him and stabbed him multiple times and he’s critically wounded,” Dr. Phil said to Harrouff in the interview. “He heroically tried to save those people.”
“I don’t remember, I don’t remember,” Harrouff says as his father interrupts.
“From what I hear, Dr. Phil, he was slashed with a liquor bottle. A broken liquor bottle and he wasn’t critically wounded. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t critical,” Wade Harrouff said. He went on to say the wounds were across Fisher’s back.
McGraw ends the questioning about Fisher, saying they don’t want to “minimize or trivialize what happened to him because he was just trying to help.”
Fisher told investigators when he approached Harrouff that night, Harrouff said: “You don’t want to, you don’t want this, you don’t want to be a part of this.” Fisher said he punched Harrouff once in the face, which knocked the teen to the ground, but then noticed he had been stabbed. Fisher went back to his home to call for help, authorities said. In crime scene photos released by the State Attorney’s Office last year, a blood trail leads from the scene to Fisher’s home. Inside, blood covers the floors.
Stevens, who served in the and completed a tour of Iraq, said he saw Fisher’s wounds and they were “extremely bad.” Stevens said instead of an apology from Austin Harrouff to his family, he wants an apology from Wade Harrouff to Fisher.
“He needs to apologize for what he said about Fisher, and he needed to do it yesterday,” Stevens said.
Fisher could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
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