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Aiden Fucci Pleads Guilty To Murder Of 13-Year-Old He Stabbed To Death On Mother's Day
"I'm sorry for the Bailey family and my family," teenager Aiden Fucci told the court after entering a guilty plea, avoiding trial for the 2021 murder.
A Florida teenager who was accused of stabbing a 13-year-old classmate 114 times on Mother’s Day nearly two years ago has pleaded guilty to her murder.
Aiden Fucci, 16, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2021 killing of Tristyn Bailey on Monday morning, according to First Coast News. Fucci entered the plea the same day his murder trial was slated to begin. Potential jurors had been expected to assemble in the courthouse for jury selection.
Instead, the accused 16-year-old, wearing a blazer, tie and tan khakis admitted to the gruesome killing and offered a tearful apology to the victim’s family.
"I just want to say I plead guilty and I'm sorry for the Bailey family and my family," Aiden Fucci said in court on Monday morning.
Fucci’s plea was described as a “straight plea deal” by the case’s judge, meaning that a plea deal hadn’t been struck through negotiations with prosecutors, according to local news station WJXT4. The judge told Fucci he’d be able to make a lengthier statement during his sentencing if he wished to do so.
During the brief hearing, the teen’s lawyer also noted that numerous plea offers presented by his defense team had been denied by the state.
Fucci was first indicted in Bailey’s killing in May 2021 after Bailey’s body was found in a remote wooded area in the woods of Durbin Crossing, near St. Johns, Florida. Her cause of death was ruled "force trauma by stabbing."
Bailey was found to have suffered a total of 114 stab wounds. Prosecutors said the 13-year-old cheerleader died “fighting for her life.” Almost half of the stab wounds were defensive in nature. The knife believed to have been used to kill Bailey was found by a nearby pond.
“We can’t see what happened at this pond but we know there was a struggle,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said at the time, per WKMG. “To say that it was horrific would be an understatement.”
Fucci, who was 14 at the time, was tied to the grisly killing through surveillance footage that captured him near the suspected scene of Bailey’s murder. He’d allegedly told multiple people he’d intended “kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them,” according to court documents cited by Law and Crime.
Investigators additionally tied Fucci to Bailey's murder through DNA evidence, according to WXJT4.
Fucci allegedly bragged about the killing to other inmates while in lock-up awaiting trial and also threatened other inmates and correctional officials, per an earlier First Coast News report.
Fucci is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 23. He faces the possibility of a maximum sentence of life in prison and a minimum of 40 years behind bars.
His mother, Crystal Lane Smith, is currently awaiting trial on a felony charge of tampering with evidence after investigators found a pair of Fucci's blood-soaked jeans that had allegedly been cleaned by Smith.