ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A hearing for the mother of Tristyn Bailey’s killer was stopped Tuesday after she was a no-show in court and the judge presiding over the case asked the defense to call her in.
Crystal Smith is accused of evidence tampering in an effort to protect her son, Aiden Fucci, who killed St. Johns County 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey in 2021. Tristyn’s body was found on Mother’s Day and investigators say she was stabbed 114 times.
Action News Jax told you in 2021 when Smith was seen on video in her home washing bloody pants her son wore the night he killed Tristyn.
Smith finally appeared in court Tuesday and sat between both members of her legal team.
Both the state and defense went back and forth about how DNA evidence was taken from Fucci’s pants. The defense argued that there could be a human error regarding the person who took the DNA evidence.
The state argued that a crime and laboratory analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who spoke on the witness stand Tuesday was speaking within her scope of expertise on how the DNA was taken.
The defense team Smith filed a motion asking that DNA evidence be thrown out, but Judge R. Lee Smith denied the motion.
Judge Smith, who is presiding over the case, said jury selection will begin Monday.
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The Bailey family, who goes by the nickname the “Bailey 7,” released the following statement through their attorney Matthew Hinson:
“On this extremely difficult day, the second anniversary of our daughter’s and sister’s death, we attended a court hearing on the case against Crystal Smith. It was antagonizing, to say the least, and anger ridden as she has continuously failed to take responsibility.
“We were hoping that a plea deal would be reached. This obviously would be a benefit to our family so that we can take our next step forward in focusing on the life and legacy of Tristyn. We also strongly feel this would benefit the community, particularly the children who have had to endure these years of lost innocence replay over and over in their minds.
“We say this, as we are fully confident in the State Attorney’s office. We say this, as we are fully confident in the evidence and investigation by the Saint Johns Sheriff’s Office. We say this, as we are sure that a just verdict would be reached. We say all of this, as it is time for our family and this community to heal.”