Corey Johnson has been sentenced to life in prison as an adult for fatally stabbing a 13-year-old boy during a 2018 sleepover in Palm Beach Gardens when he was a kid.
The 21-year-old was sentenced to three life sentences yesterday after he was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in November.
Johnson stabbed Jovanni Sierra to death at a home in exclusive BallenIsles Country Club on March 12, 2018.
Karen Sierra Velez smiled in relief outside of the courtroom after the sentence, ending a more than three-year nightmare that began when then 17-year-old Corey Johnson stabbed Jovanni Sierra to death and almost killed two more people at a sleepover.
Palm Beach Gardens police said Johnson was a guest of Kyle Bancroft, 15, when he stabbed Sierra several times and slit his throat.
He then went on to attack Bancroft’s 13-year-old brother, Dane Bancroft, stabbing him 32 times. He then turned the blade on Kyle’s mother, Elaine Simon, stabbing her a dozen times.
Amazingly, both survived the attack.
During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Johnson apologized to the families of the victims, saying he “took the life of an innocent 13-year-old boy in the most heinous and cowardly way possible.”
“I wish I could take it back. I wish I could do something to make this right,” said Johnson. “But I do want to apologize, not because it will change anything, but because I really, truly am sorry.”
Police said Johnson, who was 17 at the time of the killing, confessed to the crime, citing his Muslim faith as the motive.
According to an arrest affidavit, Johnson told police that he felt Dane Bancroft “made fun of” his Muslim faith.
Apparently, prior to the bloody attack, Johnson was reading the Quran on his phone “to give him courage to carry out his intentions,” the affidavit said.
During Johnson’s trial, his defense team tried to convince jurors that Johnson was not guilty by reason of insanity.