Teen Stabbed Friend to Death After Fighting Over Religion at Sleepover, Police Say

Teen Stabbed Friend to Death After Fighting Over Religion at Sleepover, Police Say
Teen Stabbed Friend to Death After Fighting Over Religion at Sleepover, Police Say

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) — A Florida teenager accused of fatally stabbing a 13-year-old boy during a fight about his religion during a sleepover had been monitored by federal and other authorities for months, police said.

The teen, 17, was jailed in a juvenile detention center after his arraignment earlier this week on first-degree murder and attempted-murder charges, news outlets reported. Authorities haven’t yet said whether he will be charged as an adult. The Associated Press does not generally identify juveniles charged with crimes.

The teen was arrested after police say he fatally stabbed Jovanni Sierra, 13; and wounded Elaine Simon, 43, and her 13-year-old son, Dane Bancroft, at a birthday sleepover. Police say the teen was upset because one of the boys had “made fun” of his Muslim faith by referring to celebrities as gods. Police say the boy told them he had read the Quran before going to the home.

The teen’s lawyer did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment.

A Jupiter, Florida, police report said several local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, had been aware of threats the teen made to a school in England. The report also said he had sympathized with some terror groups, and that local authorities and the FBI had discussed pursuing charges.

The FBI declined comment Friday.

Time

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