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HomeNewsFlorida teen sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing 13-year-old classmate

Florida teen sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing 13-year-old classmate


A Florida teenager was sentenced Friday to life in prison for the 2021 murder of a 13-year-old classmate.

Aiden Fucci was 14 when he stabbed Tristyn Bailey at least 114 times near his north Florida home, prosecutors said.

The two boys attended the same school, Patriot Oaks Academy, where Bailey was a cheerleader. She was found dead, wearing her cheerleader uniform, in a wooded area near Jacksonville on Mother’s Day.

Fucci, now 16, pleaded guilty early last month, just before jury selection for his trial began.

“I just want to say that I plead guilty and I’m sorry to the Bailey family and my family,” he told the judge in St. Augustine on February 6.

His lawyers had sought a 40-year sentence, but on Friday Judge Lee R. Smith sent him to spend his life behind bars. Under state law, his case can be reviewed in 25 years.

“This case is probably the most difficult and shocking case that this county, St. Johns County, has dealt with,” the judge said before invoking his ruling.

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Earlier this week, Bailey’s family and friends read court statements outlining the emotional impact of his death, urging Smith to sentence Fucci to life in prison.

“You can only imagine how the pain that you put her through remains with us,” the slain teen’s father, Forrest Bailey, told the judge.

“Aiden Fucci, your deplorable actions are unforgivable,” his mother said, fighting back tears. “I will pray every day that you stay in prison for the rest of your life and never be able to harm anyone else in this world again.”

Fucci’s grandmother, Deborah Spiwak, also attended the hearing. She asked the judge, “Please don’t cut him out of our lives forever… I know there’s something good in Aiden.”

His mother and father also wrote letters to the judge, asking for leniency.

Investigators said the boy had told friends that he wanted to kill someone. However, it was not clear if Bailey was always targeted by him, State’s Attorney RJ Larizza said in 2021.

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