State Watch

Florida teen girl allegedly stabbed 114 times by 14-year-old classmate

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A 13-year-old girl found dead in Florida earlier this month was allegedly stabbed 114 times by her 14-year-old classmate, according to authorities. 

R.J. Larizza, state attorney for Florida’s 7th Circuit, said in a press conference this week that Aiden Fucci’s alleged attack against Tristyn Bailey was “premeditated.” 

“Every time that arm went back, and every time that arm went down, that was premeditation,” he argued. 

Fucci, who is being tried as an adult, was initially charged with second-degree murder on Thursday, though it was elevated to first-degree murder Friday morning, the St. Augustine Record reported. 

Larizza said at the press conference at the St. Johns County courthouse that the county medical examiner found while conducting Bailey’s autopsy that “at least 49 of those stab wounds were to the hands, arms and the head,” adding that “they were defensive in nature.”

“The bottom line is that premeditation could be inferred certainly from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey had to suffer,” the attorney argued. 

Larizza said that Fucci in the weeks leading up to Bailey’s death told his friends that he “intended to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them.”

Bailey’s mutilated body was found in a wooded area in St. Johns County in northeast Florida on Mother’s Day less than half a mile from Fucci’s home, according to an initial arrest report. 

Her body was found approximately eight hours after Bailey’s family had reported her missing to police. 

Authorities said investigators had collected a large amount of evidence that pointed them to Fucci, including the suspected weapon used to kill the girl and Bailey’s DNA found on shoes and a T-shirt in Fucci’s bedroom. 

Larizza said, “It brings me no pleasure to be charging a 14-year-old as an adult with first-degree murder.” 

“But I can tell you also that the executive team and I reviewed all the facts, all the circumstances, the applicable law, and it was not a difficult decision to make that he should be charged as an adult,” he added. 

“It’s a sad decision and a sad state of affairs, but it was clear to us after we looked at what happened that it was not only appropriate to charge the defendant as an adult, but it was really the only choice that we could make,” Larizza told reporters. 

Fucci appeared virtually before a judge Friday morning on the upgraded charge and was ordered to be held without bond. 

Fucci could face life in prison, but because of his age, he is not eligible for the death penalty.

Local CW affiliate WJXT reported that Fucci’s public defense attorney did not object to the judge’s order that the 14-year-old be held without bond but said a motion seeking a bond may be filed at a later date.

Tags DNA evidence Florida juvenile murder charge murder investigation Stabbing

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