Teen Suspect In Fatal Stabbing Of 13-Year-Old Cheerleader Tristyn Bailey To Be Tried As An Adult
The Florida teen suspect Aiden Fucci in the fatal stabbing of 13-year-old cheerleader Tristyn Bailey is to be tried as an adult.
The 14-year-old allegedly stabbed Bailey 114 times, according to the Seventh Judicial Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza, the St. Augustine Record reported.
Fucci will be charged with first-degree murder after a grand jury returned an indictment on Thursday, May 27, WJXT-TV reported.
"It’s a sad decision, and a sad state of affairs. But it was clear to us after we looked at what happened, that it was not only appropriate to charge the defendant as an adult, but it was really the only choice that we can make," Larizza explained.
"He indicated to several witnesses that he was going to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them, which are certainly the facts of this case," Larizza said.
According to Larizza, 49 of the wounds found on Bailey's hands, arms and head were defensive. "The bottom line is that premeditation, could be inferred, certainly from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey had to suffer," he noted.
Bailey was initially reported missing after she vanished in St. Johns County, but her body was found less than a day later. The girl was found dead in a remote, wooded area at around 6 p.m. by a local resident after authorities had put out a missing person alert, after she was last seen after midnight on Sunday, May 9, OK! previously reported.
On Tuesday, May 11, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office announced that Bailey died of "force trauma by stabbing." Her death was ruled as a homicide by the medical examiner.
According to Larizza, a knife was found in a pond near where Bailey’s body was discovered and the tip of the knife had reportedly broken off and was found by the medical examiner in Bailey’s body. Larizza also said that Bailey’s DNA was discovered on Fucci’s shoes and a T-shirt found in his bedroom by investigators.
According to WJXT, Fucci confessed to detectives he had gotten into an argument with Bailey. Witnesses also reported seeing the pair walking in the park at around 1:45 a.m. on Sunday, May 9.
Fucci was initially held on one count of second-degree murder. "That's actually a decision we made collectively with the State Attorney's Office," Sheriff Robert Hardwick noted earlier this month. "We can always increase the charge."
"I hope that parents will learn something from this, this vicious and brutal murder, and that is that you need to know what your kids are doing and what they are saying," Larizza said. "Because while we might not be able to stop these brutal and vicious murders from happening, we ought to at least try."