WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – A judge has sentenced a Florida man to life in prison for killing a 13-year-old in his sleep in 2018. Corey Johnson, 21, has apologized for being bullied. Sentencing and denouncing a group of Muslim rebels. His attorney claims to have influenced his thinking.
Circuit judge Cheryl Caracuzzo denied a request to force Corey Johnson to serve 40 years in prison after the murder of Jovanni Sierra, saying she did not believe the resilience was due to his willingness to kill because of his radical views.
“I know I have contributed to the spread of evil in this world,” Johnson, now 21, told the court, Palm Beach Post reported.
In November, a jury convicted Johnson of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder for the fatal stabbing attack while the victim was asleep on his birthday night at the home of his best friend. he’s in Palm Beach Gardens.
Johnson was 17 at the time and offended by Sierra’s remarks about his newly declared faith, prosecutors said. He also stabbed Elaine Simon, who owned the house where the party was held, and Dane Bancroft, her young son, Sierra’s best friend.
Defense attorneys do not dispute that Johnson, whose online conduct caught the attention of the FBI, caused “unspeakable damage.” But they said Johnson had become “psychotic and delusional”, which they blamed on severe depression, prescription drugs and watching ISIS videos.
Johnson meets Sierra for the first time at a birthday party. He was accompanied by his friend, Kyle Bancroft, Dane’s brother, according to police. Dane Bancroft and Sierra attended middle school together. Simon told police that Johnson visited her home often, and that he and her eldest son had been friends since they were children.
Prosecutors said the stabbing began after everyone had gone to bed. Johnson hid in a closet after the attacks and police used tear gas to eventually subdue him, records show.
A neuropsychologist testified Thursday after reviewing hundreds of documents and interview videos. Johnson has above-average intelligence but is slow to mature, has autism and severe mental illness, Dr Michael Scott told the court.
Years earlier, while still in middle school, students said Johnson stalked them on social media, enticing them to perform odd behaviors, the Post reported. His online behavior caught the attention of the FBI by the time he was in high school. He is suspected of sending a threat to a Catholic high school in England in 2016 that prompted nearly 100 parents to pull their children out of classrooms.
Jennifer Johnson testified that her son became increasingly unhappy before the stabbing – the boy had dropped out of high school and his online relationship with a girl had recently ended.
Karen Sierra-Velez said after sentencing that she is trying to forgive and stay strong for her 17-year-old son.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.)
https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/01/14/florida-man-corey-johnson-gets-life-in-prison-for-sleepover-stabbing-death-of-13-year-old/ Florida man Corey Johnson gets life in prison for falling asleep stabbing 13-year-old to death – CBS Miami