Officials confirmed that a 14-year-old Florida boy will stand trial as an adult for the brutal Stabbing Teen Girl of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey earlier this month in Florida.
During a press conference on Thursday, State Attorney R. J. Larizza announced that Aiden Fucci’s case had been transferred from juvenile to adult court.
Fucci was charged with second-degree murder at first but did not have time to enter a plea before his charges were escalated, according to the 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office. Given the severity of the situation, Larizza added, it was decided to charge him as an adult.
Bailey went missing on May 9 and was reported to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. She was last seen about midnight, according to her family. According to the arrest report, her corpse was discovered in the immediate area near a retention pond at 6 p.m. after a massive search.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release on May 11 that Fucci had been identified as a suspect in the case and had been detained.
“It gives me no pleasure to charge a 14-year-old with first-degree murder as an adult. “It was evident to us after we looked at what happened that charging the defendant as an adult was not only reasonable, but it was essentially the only charge we could make,” Larizza said on Thursday.
According to the medical examiner’s findings, there were 114 stab wounds detected on Bailey, with at least 49 of them being defensive wounds to the hands, arms, and head.
“[Fucci] told witnesses he was going to kill someone by bringing them into the woods and stabbing them,” Larizza continued. The defendant’s remarks to his pals made it evident that he was considering committing a homicide.”
The knife Fucci used in the violent attack was discovered in a nearby pond, according to Larizza. The medical examiner located its fractured tip in the girl’s skull.
Investigators discovered Fucci’s DNA on Tristyn’s body, as well as on the knife, Fucci’s shoes, and a T-shirt in his bedroom, he claimed.
“I just want to express my hope that this heinous and horrible murder will teach parents something. That is, you must be aware of what your children are doing and saying. While we may not be able to prevent these heinous and horrible killings, we should at least try,” Larizza said.
On Friday, Fucci appeared in court for the first time on the new allegations, appearing electronically via Zoom.
Judge Howard M. Maltz notified Fucci of his rights, the charges, and the probable reason to hold him during the procedural hearing. Maltz stated that he will remain in jail without bond. Fucci is expected to be arraigned “within the next week or two,” according to local ABC affiliate WJXX.
He has not pleaded guilty. Fucci’s defense counsel has been contacted by ABC News for comment.
Following the announcement on Thursday, the Bailey family issued a statement.
“We appreciate that today’s verdict is directly the consequence of the extensive and exhaustive work done by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and the 7th District State Attorney’s Office as part of the early steps to bring justice for Tristyn’s murder,” the statement read. “The compassion and love demonstrated by individuals and businesses in honouring Tristyn’s legacy, as well as our community’s resolve, serve as a beacon of light in the darkness.” It helps us to feed the good wolf, as recounted in the Celebration of Life on the struggle of the two wolves,” her father said during her burial service, quoting an old Native American myth.