ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Sixteen-year-old Aiden Fucci was sentenced Friday to life in prison for killing St. Johns County 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey.
This was the maximum sentence Fucci faced. Because he is a juvenile, his case will be eligible for review in 25 years.
Investigators said Fucci stabbed Tristyn 114 times in a wooded area in the Durbin Crossing neighborhood on Mother’s Day 2021.
“This case is probably the most difficult and shocking case that this county, St. Johns County, has dealt with,” Judge R. Lee Smith said before sentencing Fucci.
Fucci pleaded guilty in February just before he was set to go on trial. That led to Smith to set a sentencing hearing for Fucci, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Before announcing his sentencing decision on Friday morning, Smith took time to address the Bailey family.
“Allow ‘Bailey Sunday Fundays’ to return to your home,” Smith told the family before he announced the sentence, saying Tristyn would have wanted her family to laugh and joke again.
Smith told Tristyn’s father Forrest Bailey that he appreciated the fact that he was patient with the court proceedings. He also said he appreciated the testimony of Fucci’s grandmother during the sentencing hearing.
“That took a lot of courage. That was not easy, for her. But it showed this court that he had a good, stable home environment,” Smith said.
Smith said he read all of the letters that were sent to the court on the Bailey family’s behalf. Smith said the effect on Tristyn’s family and on the community is “significant.”
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“It has caused them deep emotional and mental health problems,” Smith said of Tristyn’s family.
Fucci told his girlfriend that he planned to kill someone. Smith said he did not know at which point Fucci had decided that he would kill Tristyn.
Smith said Fucci’s killing of Tristyn, “was committed in a cold, calculated manner.”
You can watch the full sentencing as it aired on Action News Jax in the video below: