Now that the long-awaited release of Dr. Phil’s interview with Austin Harrouff’s interview is out, the big question is how will it affect his case?
A well-known criminal defense attorney in West Palm beach says prosecutors will pick apart this video in court if it’s allowed in trial.
It’s unclear why Dr. Phil would decide not to televise a hospital interview he conducted with Austin Harrouff via Skype, but the fact is, that interview may now be evidence presented in court.
The 22-minute interview was conducted just days before Harrouff was released from the hospital and arrested. Harrouff’s attorneys claim they did not agree to it and did not have any knowledge of it.
“There is no way in the world they would have let him do this interview. I mean they would have done anything to prevent this interview. I don’t know what the motivation behind this was, if it was for someone to try and help them and someone’s heart was in the right place. In my opinion, it was pretty ill-conceived because now this is kind of going to be the face of this case,” says Michael Salnick, a criminal defense attorney.
Salnick says defense attorneys can still argue insanity at the time John Stevens and his wife Michelle Mishcon were killed, but says prosecutors will pick apart the interview to reveal what Harrouff’s state of mind was at the time.
“This statement in of itself is just severely prejudicial in a case which has gotten, which is going to get a ton of attention. The idea of a video tape of the accused saying he’s sorry, saying he didn’t want this to happen just makes me cringe as a defense lawyer because I feel bad for this young man cause I question whether he even knew what was going on here when he gave this interview,” added Salnick.