A 14-year-old boy from Florida was charged with first degree murder Thursday. He was accused of stabbing 13-year-old classmate Tristyn Bailey 114 times and leaving her mutilated body in a wooded area earlier this month.
7th Circuit District Attorney RJ Larizza announced that Aiden Fucci would be charged as an adult and described a premeditated act during a press conference at the St. Johns County courthouse.
“At least 49 of these stab wounds were in the hands, arms and head. They were inherently defensive,” said Larizza.
He added, “The bottom line is that intent can certainly only be inferred from the sheer number of stab wounds Tristyn Bailey suffered. Every time that arm receded and every time that arm went down, that was intent . “
Since Fucci was charged as an adult, the USA TODAY Network calls him even though he is a teenager.
Resolution was also indicated by statements Fucci reportedly made to witnesses in the weeks leading up to the murder that he “intended to kill someone by taking him into the woods and stabbing him,” Larizza said.
When asked whether Fucci had mental health problems or was getting advice, Larizza said no.
Bailey, a student at Patriot Oaks Academy, was found dead on May 9 in a wooded area near her home in northwest St. Johns County near Jacksonville.
Bloodstained clothing was found in Fucci’s house. The alleged weapon, a goat knife usually used for hunting, was recovered from a pond near the crime scene.
Justice for Tristyn Bailey: Legal experts burden problems faced by juvenile suspects
Fucci, who has been held in a juvenile detention center since his arrest, will be transferred to an adult facility on Thursday, Larizza said. However, as a minor, he is separated from the adult population.
In the weeks since Bailey’s death, people in St. Johns County and beyond have mourned their deaths and tried to comfort their families and seek justice.
Bailey was an avid cheerleader and was remembered for her radiant personality.
People tied teal ribbons to mailboxes and light poles and organized fundraisers in Bailey’s memory. Some had also started a petition to get Fucci charged as an adult.
Thousands gathered to remember Bailey at Celebration Church in Jacksonville on May 18.
A community mourns:Tristyn Bailey remembered someone who “brought life to everyone around her”.
The Bailey family released a statement following Thursday’s press conference recognizing the work of the sheriff’s office and prosecution and thanking people in the community for their support.
“Especially for those in St. Johns who helped find Mother’s Day, the vigils, reminders and memorials. During the press conference details were exchanged about this heinous crime, the care and love of the people and companies to bring back the memory von Tristyn and the determination of our community serve as beacons in the dark, “said the family. “As shared in the celebration of life about the fight between the two wolves, it helps us feed the good wolf. … We ask for your continued respect for our privacy as well as for Tristyn’s teammates and her school. We will try, Tristyns Keeping the memory and spirit of the community alive. “
When asked about a possible motive, Larizza said, “We are still working on and investigating this case.”
Sheriff responds:Tristyn Bailey’s death was the “terrible, brutal murder of a 13-year-old child”.
Larizza declined to answer questions about sexual assault at the press conference – whether Fucci or Bailey were in any romantic relationship; if the victim was restrained in any way; or if there was any evidence that Fucci was actively trying to target another woman for attack.
“This could just have been the wrong place, the wrong time here,” said Larizza.
While the records of minors under the age of 18 are sealed, Larizza said Fucci had no previous convictions.