A boy from Florida has been given a life sentence for stabbing his classmate to death 114 times.
About two years after he was accused of the horrific murder of his classmate and neighbour, Aiden Fucci, 16, was sentenced at the St. Johns County Courthouse in St. Augustine, Florida.
Judge Lee R. Brown delivered his sentence and stated, “It was performed in a cold, planned, and intentional manner – without any pretence of moral or legal justification.”
And it was abominable, horrifying, and cruel.
On Mother’s Day in 2021, the family of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey reported her missing from her home in North Florida.
After a daylong search, Bailey’s body was found abandoned by another neighbor walking in the nearby woods around 6.00pm.
Her death was ruled a homicide by sharp force trauma. Bailey sustained 114 stab wounds, including 49 defensive wounds to her hands, arms, and head.
Investigators eventually identified Bailey’s neighbor Aiden Fucci, then 14, as the lone suspect in the gruesome case.
Surveillance footage showed the two teenagers walking down a residential street together around 2.00am on the morning of her disappearance. Less than 2 hours later, Fucci was seen running back alone, carrying his shoes.
Fucci was arrested the next day and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. His charge was eventually upgraded to first-degree murder due to the severity of the crime.
Earlier this year, Fucci changed his plea to guilty. ‘I just want to say I plead guilty and I’m sorry for the Bailey family and my family,’ the defendant told the judge at a hearing on February 6.
Before the sentencing, family members were given an opportunity to speak.
During her victim impact statement, Bailey’s sister Alexis Bailey filled a jar with 114 stones. ‘One for each of the 114 stab wounds that my sister had to endure,’ Alexis said.
‘Please do not for one second think that he could be rehabilitated at any point,’ the victim’s mother Stacy Bailey said. ‘He is beyond saving.’
Only one person spoke on Fucci’s behalf – his grandmother, Deborah Spiwak. ‘Please don’t take him out of our lives forever,’ she implored the judge. ‘I know there is some good in Aiden.’
Fucci’s mother, Crystal Smith, declined to appear for his sentencing. Later this month, Smith is facing her own trial after being charged with tampering with evidence.
Investigators believe Smith tried to wash blood off of her son’s jeans after killing Bailey. Both her son’s pants and her sink contained traces of blood, her arrest warrant states.
Judge Brown called the case ‘the most difficult and shocking case that this county, St Johns County, has dealt with.’
The judge came to his decision due to the senseless nature of the crime.
‘There was no reason. There was no purpose. It was done for no other reason than to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone,’ Brown said.
He continued: ‘Tristyn Bailey was conscious, she was aware, and she was doing everything she could to fend off this attack,’ he said. ‘She suffered a painful, horrifying death from someone that she trusted.’
‘There is only one appropriate sentence in this case,’ the judge said before confining Fucci to life in a Florida state prison.
Due to his age, Fucci is not eligible for the death penalty in Florida. He will be eligible for review of his sentence in 25 years.