16-year-old Aiden Fucci has been sentenced to life in prison by a Florida judge for fatally stabbing a 13-year-old classmate in 2021, CBS News reports.
Fucci, who was 14 when he stabbed Tristyn Bailey over 100 times after taking her to the woods near where they both lived on May 9, 2021, was tried as an adult in the case. He pleaded guilty before the trial was set to begin in February, and his attorneys were seeking a 40-year sentence. Per Florida law, he was not eligible for the death penalty when he entered his guilty verdict because of his age, although his case could be reviewed in 25 years.
"This case is probably the most difficult and shocking case that this county, St. Johns County, has dealt with," said Judge Lee R. Smith when he sentenced Fucci to life in prison. The sentencing came after two days of testimony, including impact statements from members of the Bailey family from her sister Alexis Bailey.
“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. There was no reason. There was no purpose,” Judge Smith said, per the Independent. “It was done for no other reason than to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone. This leads this court to the conclusion that there is only one appropriate sentence in this case.”
Fucci’s grandmother Deborah Spiwak was present at the hearing, and asked for a lighter sentence for her grandson. “Please don’t take him out of our lives forever,” she said. R. Smith said her comments “took a lot of courage,” but it also showed the court that Fucci had “a good, stable home environment.”
Investigations in the murder of Bailey said that Fucci allegedly told several of his friends that he wanted to take someone to the woods and kill them, although there wasn’t evidence to suggest Bailey was always his target. Fucci was arrested the same day of the killing when Bailey’s body was found near Saddlestone Drive. After he was arrested, he reportedly posted a selfie to Snapchat as he sat in a police car which read, “Hey guys has anybody seen Tristyn lately.”