Aiden Fucci, teen charged with murder of Tristyn Bailey, appears in court ahead of trial

ST JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Nearly a full year since 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey’s body was found, the teenager accused of her murder walked into court for one of the final times before his trial begins.

LAST YEAR: St. Johns teen reported missing, later found dead; 14-year-old boy charged with murder in her death

Aiden Fucci, who is now 15, is the only suspect accused of Bailey’s death. Both teens attended Patriot Oaks Academy and lived in the same neighborhood. On Mother’s Day 2021, her family reported Tristyn missing. Following a day-long search, her body was found in a wooded area in Durbin Crossing North. Deputies say Bailey was stabbed more than 100 times.

“Teenagers are capable of things we have never imagined they could be. And this case is an example of that”, said State Attorney R.J. Larizza when announcing the charges last year.

Key evidence in the case includes DNA samples from Fucci’s family, jail calls, and surveillance footage. Fucci’s mother, Crystal Smith is charged for tampering with evidence. She is accused of washing a pair of jeans that later tested positive for blood. A trial date for Smith has not been set, but the judge said Thursday he expects it to happen sometime after her son’s.

The next pre-trial hearing for Fucci is set for June 7th, with a final pre-trial hearing scheduled for Oct. 26. The teen’s murder trial is expected to start in November. Because he is a juvenile, a death sentence is not an option, but the charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

RELATED: Tristyn Bailey case: Juvenile law expert questions murder suspect Aiden Fucci’s past

Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

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