Teenager is accused of stabbing a young woman 114 times 3:05
(WABNEWS) — A judge sentenced Aiden Fucci — the Florida teen convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing a 13-year-old classmate more than 100 times in 2021 — to life in prison on Friday.
Fucci, 16, pleaded guilty in February 2023 at a hearing intended to begin jury selection for his trial, according to previous WABNEWS reports. Fucci was 14 years old when he brutally murdered his classmate Tristyn Bailey in the woods in Northeast Florida’s St. Johns County. He was charged as an adult.RELATED
During Friday’s sentencing, Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith said he took several factors into account in making his decision, including Fucci’s young age, the “elevated level” of premeditation and that he was the “only participant” who he was not pressured by anyone to commit the “devastating crime”. He pointed out that Fucci was considered of “average maturity” by his peers and that he understood the consequences of his actions.
Bailey “suffered a painful and horrible death at the hands of someone he trusted,” Smith said before announcing the sentence on Friday.
He described the victim as an “energetic and happy girl.”
“The loss that he has clearly suffered is unimaginable,” the judge told Bailey’s family and friends. “Sometimes family members wish or hope that whatever the sentence is, somehow or another that will heal or provide closure.”
“I can’t give closure to this,” he continued. “She can close a chapter, but… I can’t bring her back.”
“They still have a lot to heal,” the judge told loved ones through tears. “His spirit lives through each and every one of you.”
Fucci will have 30 days to appeal the sentence if he intends to do so, the judge said.
Bailey’s body was found on May 9 after her family reported her missing earlier that day. She had been stabbed 114 times and she had 49 defensive wounds to her head, hands and arms, according to the state’s attorney.
The prosecutor said that Fucci had told witnesses that he intended to stab someone in the woods. Additionally, Fucci’s DNA was found on Bailey’s body, according to previous WABNEWS reports.
After sentencing, the victim’s father, Forrest Bailey, shared a moving message for his murdered daughter.
“Tristyn, I wanted you to know that we are very proud of the person you were in your time here,” he said.
“When you went out into the world, you gave your best. You should be proud of the friend you were, the teammate you were and what you left behind,” said the father of five. “We love you. We will continue to carry you in our hearts, and we will always be the ‘Bailey Seven’.”
Forrest Bailey thanked the prosecutor, the sheriff and the judge for the life sentence. He also asked people to be nice to Fucci’s family members.
At Friday’s sentencing, the judge noted that while Fucci showed some potential for rehabilitation, the crime was “extraordinary.”
“Her behavior was so unusual compared to individuals her age that there is a poor prognosis for rehabilitation,” he said.
He called the case the “most difficult and shocking” St. Johns County had ever faced. Smith added that the crime was especially troubling because it “had no motive.”
“This was not done out of greed, it was not done for retaliation, retribution or revenge, it was not a crime of passion, it was not a crime that was committed because he felt rejected by her. He didn’t do it in a fit of uncontrollable rage. There was no reason. There was no purpose,” he continued. “It was done for the sole reason of satisfying this defendant’s inner desire to feel what it was like to kill someone.”