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When is a Knife Sold by Publix a Weapon?

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The estate of a boy stabbed to death during a sleepover in Palm Beach Gardens is suing Publix Supermarkets for allegedly selling the murder weapon, a knife to a child.

Corey Johnson faces one count of first-degree murder with a deadly weapon and two counts of attempted first-degree murder with a deadly weapon.
Johnson is accused of killing one teen, wounding another and a woman during an attack at a sleepover in a home in Ballenisles in Palm Beach Gardens.

Police said Johnson confessed to the stabbings and attributed motive to his Muslim faith and a fascination with ISIS. Johnson studied the Quran and had been on the FBI watch list for more than a year.

As a 17-year-old, Johnson was accused of killing 13-year-old Jovanni Sierra on the boy’s birthday at a home in Ballenisles on Mar. 12, 2018.

The LaBovick Law Group claims Publix illegally sold the knife to Johnson who was not old enough to buy a weapon. He later allegedly used the knife to kill Jovanni and stab Elaine Simon and her son, Dane Bancroft.

The firm claims Johnson bought the knife at Publix hours before the attack. It’s against the law in Florida to sell any weapons to people under the age of 18.

Johnson, 17 at the time of the stabbings, is now 19 years old and charged as an adult in the crime.

“Publix has refused to change their reckless policy of selling knives to underage buyers and has spurned Florida law by intentionally failing to check identification before selling dangerous weapons to underage knife purchasers,” stated Brian LaBovick, the attorney representing the Estate of Jovanni Sierra. “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.”

Johnson is due back in court on Mar. 20.