Estate of slain teen sues Publix for selling knife to alleged killer

Estate of slain 13-year-old boy sues Publix for selling knife to alleged killer

The estate of a 13-year-old boy who was killed at a sleepover in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is suing the grocery store chain Publix, for selling the knife that killed Jovanni Sierra.

Sierra’s estate said Publix illegally sold a knife to Corey Johnson, the teen who is charged in Sierra’s death. Johnson was 17 at the time and is now 19. He was charged as an adult, WPTV reported.

Police said Johnson admitted to stabbing the victims citing his Muslim faith. The FBI was watching him for more than a year and police said he was studying ISIS and the Quran, WPEC reported.

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LaBovick Law Group is representing Sierra’s estate and filed the suit.

The lawyers said Publix broke the law by selling a weapon to someone under 18. Knives are considered a weapon.

In the suit, lawyers contend “Publix is fully responsible for the damages caused by their illegal knife sale and could be responsible for punitive damages if their conduct rises to the level of intentional disregard of Florida law,” WPTV reported.

Elaine Simon and her son, Dane Bancroft, were also injured in the attack, WPEC reported.

WPTV and WPEC reported that Publix released a statement to local media saying, “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on pending litigation.”

Corey Johnson
Corey Johnson (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)