Florida teen Aiden Fucci sentenced to life in prison for murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Aiden Fucci, the Florida teenager who stabbed a 13-year-old classmate to death in 2021, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Fucci, now 16, plead guilty last month to killing Tristyn Bailey when he was just 14-years-old.
"This was a devastating crime," the judge said before the sentencing, adding "this was probably the most difficult and shocking case" the county has ever dealt with.
The judge also said that evidence pointed to this being a premeditated murder and that Fucci had made statements to his girlfriend about wanting to kill someone, but it's not known when he decided it would be Tristyn.
"She suffered a painful and horrifying death from someone that she trusted," the judge said after describing how Fucci lured Tristyn into a secluded area before killing her.
No motive was found in the case, only that Fucci had told his best friend that he wanted to kill someone "to see what it felt like," the judge said.
Because of his age, Fucci is eligible for his sentence to be reviewed in 25 years. He has 30 days to appeal the legality of the sentence.
Tristyn's family reported her missing on Mother’s Day 2021, and her body was found in the woods following a daylong search. Evidence, including video surveillance, led investigators to Fucci. He was originally charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder because of the severity of the crime.
Photo credit: Undated family photos shared with FOX 35 from Bailey's family's legal team.
R.J. Larizza, the state attorney for Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit, said during a news conference after Fucci’s arrest that Bailey was stabbed 114 times. He said at least 49 of the wounds were to the hands, arms and the head, and were defensive in nature.
Surveillance video shows Fucci and Bailey, a 13-year-old cheerleader, walking just after midnight in the Durbin Crossing neighborhood of St. Johns County on the night she was stabbed to death.
Over an hour later, Fucci is seen on the same surveillance camera running in the opposite direction of the woods where Tristyn's body was later found.
Snapchat videos of Fucci and a friend in the back of a police car after Bailey was reported missing were also released.
"We're having fun, in a f****** cop car," Fucci can be heard saying, before referencing Tristyn.
After pleading guilty in February, Fucci apologized to Tristyn's family.
"I just want to say I plead guilty and I’m sorry for the Bailey family and my family."
Tristyn's family spoke out this week during Fucci's sentencing hearing.
"Aiden Fucci didn’t just take Tristyn’s life that day, he took everything from us," said Tristyn's sister.