The Tragic Death of Trystin Bailey
On Sunday May 9, 2021, 13-year-old Trystin Bailey was killed by 14-year-old classmate Aiden Fucci in a wooded area near her home in St. Johns county, Florida. After an hours-long search, the police had located her body and announced on Tuesday, May 11 that the teenager had been stabbed to death. Aiden Fucci, who was previously charged with second-degree murder, has now been indicted as an adult on a first-degree murder charge by St. John’s County Grand Jury. According to the 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza, the number of times Bailey was stabbed is enough evidence to prove premeditation. Thus, Fucci could receive life in prison without parole if found guilty.
Teenage witnesses claimed that Fucci had said days before Bailey’s death that he was going to “kill a random person” by taking them to the woods and stabbing them, according to Larizza. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office report also states that Fucci’s alibi had changed multiple times since the beginning of the investigation, but deputies said that the teenager ultimately made several admissions that have been verified through surveillance camera footage. Fucci and Bailey were captured walking together at around 1:45 a.m. on Sunday in a surveillance video taken by a nearby home. However, Bailey was reported missing at around 10 a.m. and later found dead at the south end of a retention pond about 0.3 miles away from Fucci’s home. Officials said she appeared to have a significant injury to her head and other trauma.
A search warrant was executed at Fucci’s home, where investigators stated that several items of evidential value were found, including clothing that appeared to be consistent with the surveillance footage and items with blood on them, according to the report. Larizza said in a statement, “You’ve heard that our victim Trystin was stabbed - to say that it was horrific could be argued to be an understatement. The medical examiner completed an autopsy on our victim and identified confidently that there [were] 114 stab wounds.” The state attorney added: “Premeditation can be inferred from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Trystin Bailey had to suffer.”
After sharing the investigators’ findings and autopsy report, Larizza explained the decision to charge Fucci as an adult by saying: “The juvenile system is geared for kids with drug issues maybe, or who commit non-violent crime. When you get kids that get to this level of violence… the adult system is where this case belongs.” Larizza also stated that there was no indication that Fucci suffers from mental health issues or had been seeking treatment for it. He refused to say if the teenager had confessed to the killing.
When Fucci was arrested, he posted on Snapchat a picture of himself from the back of a cop car with the caption “Hey guys has inybody seen Trystin lately.” Thus, Larizza said on May 13, 2021, that the Snapchat post indicated how Fucci had no remorse for his actions, with prosecutors now set to use it to strengthen their case.
Although the teenager is is being charged as an adult, he will not face the death penalty if convicted. Due to the Supreme Court case Roper v. Simmons, minors cannot be sentenced to the death penalty. Instead, Fucci could receive life in prison without parole if found guilty. His next court date has not been announced.