Florida teen Aiden Fucci, 16, is jailed for life after stabbing 13-year-old cheerleader and schoolmate 114 times, in May 2021
Judge condemned Fucci’s twisted ‘desire to feel what it was like to kill’
Bailey was murdered in 2021 in the quiet wooded area of a Durbin Crossing neighborhood, in St Johns, Florida
During trial jurors saw video of Fucci, then 14, walking with Bailey, minutes before he murdered her, then later running back alone
When he was arrested Fucci showed no remorse, taking a selfie in the police cruiser which he posted on Snapchat
Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith said Bailey suffered a ‘painful, horrifying death from someone that she trusted’
Being a juvenile, Fucci is not eligible for the death penalty
He has 30 days to appeal judgement, he’s also eligible to have his sentence reviewed in 25 year.
Florida teen Aiden Fucci, who stabbed 13-year-old schoolmate Tristyn Bailey 114 times, two years ago, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Fucci, now 16, was 14 at the time he knifed the cheerleader to death, pled guilty to first-degree murder admitting to the grisly stabbing which took place at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet Durbin Crossing neighborhood, in St Johns, Florida in May 2021, because he wanted to satisfy his ‘desire to feel what it was like to kill.’
Emotions ran high when Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith handed down the sentence, with the bereaved family unable to hold back tears in court.
Because he’s a juvenile, the Florida teen is not eligible for the death penalty and has 30 days to appeal the Judge’s decision. He’ll also be able to have his sentence reviewed in 25 years.
‘Tristyn Bailey was conscious, she was aware, and she was doing everything she could to fend off this attack,’ said Judge Smith.
‘She suffered a painful, horrifying death from someone that she trusted.’
On the night she was murdered surveillance footage showed Fucci and Bailey walking together down a dim residential street moments before her death as they headed to the woods. Fucci was then seen running alone barefoot at around 2am.
Judge Smith revealed his decision on Friday morning and said there was only ‘one appropriate sentence in this case’ before sharing the ruling.
Judge Smith said he took Fucci’s age, mental health, home life and letters from the boy’s family into consideration, as well as the fact he was the ‘sole participant’ and was ‘100 percent responsible for this murder.’
He added that he believed that there would be ‘poor prognosis for rehabilitation’ and acknowledged the ‘compelling’ victim statements made earlier in the week.
During Friday’s sentence, Judge Smith said this had been one of the ‘most difficult and shocking cases’ in the country that he’d witnessed in his 16 years practicing law.
On Wednesday Alexis Bailey, the victim’s sister, took the stand in a Florida courtroom and emotionally dropped more than 100 green heart-shaped stones into a small glass jar to ‘represent the 114 stab wounds that my sister had to endure’
He reviled Fucci saying that his behavior before the murder showed a ‘heightened level of premeditation’ and that it appeared he understood the consequences of his actions.
Judge Smith also found it ‘troubling’ that there appeared to be no motive for the murder and that it was committed for ‘no other reason but to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone.’
Fucci said that he was sorry nine times in a handwritten letter in which he apologized to the Bailey family, his own family, and the community for taking the young girl’s life.
‘I’m sorry that you didn’t get to know her that long. You did not have any long relationships with [Tristyn] and for that I’m sorry,’ he wrote.
‘For the Community I’m sorry I brought all this pain on everyday and I’m sorry and know my [apology] will not fix anything or bring her back but i hop it help in some way.’
The night he was arrested Fucci took a selfie in the back of a police cruiser which he then posted on Snapchat with the caption ‘Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately’.
It was before her body was found in woods.
Later police said they would use that ‘egregious’ selfie as evidence against him and that it proves he was ‘proud of what he did’.
Surveillance cam also caught the suspect’s mother, Crystal Smith, washing ‘bloody jeans’, that he wore on the night of the killing.
Subsequently, prosecutors decided he would be charged as an adult.
Fucci also apologized for the effects his actions had on his family, saying he missed spending time with his parents and siblings as well as his mother’s ‘lemon pepper chicken.’
‘I miss your hugs,’ he wrote. ‘I miss you. The longer I’m in here the more i forget the more memories i Lose. I’ll never forget you love me.’
During Wednesday’s proceedings, Fucci’s grandmother Deborah Spiwak took the stand, seeking leniency as she pled with the judge not to take him out of his family’s lives forever.
‘I’d die not being able to spend time with him sometime before I go,’ Spiwak said.
Bailey’s family sought justice for the 13-year-old and asked the judge to sentence him to life in prison.
Fucci also wrote a letter to the judge, apologizing to the Bailey family and the community for the harm he had caused, as well as to his parents.
He told his father he was ‘special because you made fun out of nothing’ and that he missed his mother’s lemon pepper chicken
During their testimony on Thursday, Bailey’s sister Alexis put 114 stones in a jar, each representing a stab wound that Fucci inflicted on her.
‘Did she scream out for help or was she paralyzed with agony?’ Alexis asked Fucci directly in court. ‘Did she cry for my mother? Did she beg you to stop?’
Prior to the sentencing, Judge Smith told the Bailey family that he ‘cannot bring her back’ and ‘cannot provide a closure to this.’
However urged the family to allow healing back into their lives.
‘Allow Bailey Sunday Fun Days to return to your home,’ said Judge Smith.
‘Allow laughter to return to your home because in depriving yourselves of that, it would continue to victimize Tristyn because it’s not what she would want.
‘She would want that happiness and that laughter to return.’
Bailey was gruesomely murdered on Mother’s Day in 2021. Surveillance footage previously showed Fucci and Bailey walking together down a dim residential street moments before her death as they headed to the woods.
Fucci was later seen running alone barefoot at around 2am.