ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FL – Aiden Fucci, 16, the Florida teenager accused of stabbing his 13-year-old classmate to death simply to “feel what it was like to kill someone,” was sentenced on Friday by a judge to life in prison for his heinous and deranged crime.
Fucci, who was tried as an adult, narrowly avoided being sentenced to death only because he was 14 at the time he committed the murder of cheerleader Tristyn Bailey, whom he stabbed 114 times on May 9, 2021 in St. Johns County.
Circuit Judge R. Lee Smith had the option of sentencing Fucci 40 years in prison but opted for a life sentence taking in the “heinous, atrocious and cruel” aspects of the teen’s crimes which “had no motive.”
“This was not done out of greed. It was not done in retaliation or retribution or revenge. It was not a crime of passion. It was not a crime that was committed because he felt rejected by her. It was not done in a fit of uncontrollable anger,” Smith said in his ruling. “There was no reason. There was no purpose. It was done for no other reason than to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone,” Smith said. “This leads this court to the conclusion that there is only one appropriate sentence in this case.”
Fucci pleaded guilty in February right before his trial was scheduled to commence on one count of first-degree murder.
On the night that she was killed, Bailey – who attended Patriot Oaks Academy with her future murderer – had snuck out of her house to hang out with Fucci and another classmate. Surveillance video would later show Bailey walking with Fucci at 1:45 a.m. on a street toward a wooded area.
Two hours later, video showed Fucci emerging from the wooded area alone; Bailey’s mutilated body was discovered the next day lying next to a pond by a jogger.
During a victim impact statement made before the judge handed down his sentence, the slain teenager’s mother, Stacy Bailey, begged for Fucci to receive the maximum sentence possible.
“Please do not for one second think that he could be rehabilitated at any point,” she said. “He is beyond saving.”