Aiden Fucci pleads not guilty to the murder of Tristyn Bailey

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — The St. Johns County teenager accused of stabbing his 13-year-old classmate Tristyn Bailey to death has pleaded not guilty.

Aiden Fucci appeared before Judge R. Lee Smith Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

Fucci is charged as an adult with first-degree premeditated murder, a capital felony punishable by life or death.

Being 14-years-old, Fucci is not eligible for the death sentence or life without the possibility of parole, per Supreme Court ruling.

Action News Jax legal expert Dale Carson said a plea of not guilty will be a way to uncover evidence against Fucci, opening the door to a jury trial.

Right now, Fucci is being held at the Duval County jail away from the adult population.

“They’ll have to keep him in an area that is somewhat protected from assaults from other individuals, Carson explained.

The young suspect was first arrested on Monday, May 10 and charged with second-degree murder.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza said the decision to charge Fucci as an adult came down to the brutality of the crime. The medical examiner found that Tristyn had been stabbed 114 times.

Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

Samantha Mathers is a content creator and coordinator for Action News Jax.