The victim’s family made emotional impact statements after the footage was shown during the sentencing hearing for Aiden Fucci — who fatally stabbed 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey 114 times, before posting video from inside a patrol car while in police custody.
The sentencing hearing for 16-year-old Aiden Fucci began this week in Florida, a little more than a month after the teen pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of 13-year-old cheerleader Tristyn Bailey.
Fucci was just 14 when his classmate was killed on Mother’s Day 2021. The teenage victim was stabbed 114 times, with 49 defensive stab wounds to the hands, arms and head. The tip of a knife used to attack her broke off and was “located by the medical examiner in the scalp” of the victim.
He faces at least 40 years in prison; because he was a minor at the time of the crime he’s not eligible for the death penalty. On Tuesday, previously-unseen surveillance footage and video from Fucci’s Snapchat were introduced to the court … before emotional impact statements began from Bailey’s loved ones earlier today.
During the hearing, Sergeant Kurt Hannon took the stand and — per Law&Crime — testified about how Fucci appeared to be using Snapchat in the back of a cruiser after he was in police custody. He first posted a selfie throwing up a peace sign from the backseat, before posting to Snapchat a text post reading, “Hey guys has inybody seen Tristyn lately.”
Video was also shown to the court of Fucci joking around with another teen in the back of the cruiser, in which he’s heard saying, “Having fun in a f—— cop car” and again mentions Tristyn’s name. At the time, Bailey’s body hadn’t yet been found.
The court also saw new video of Fucci with his parents inside a police station interrogation room after he’d been taken in for questioning. At this point, Bailey’s body had been discovered — and, after hearing she was dead, Fucci tells his parents, “It ain’t my problem.” They remind him he was the last one who was seen with her, before scolding him for posting his Snapchat videos. In the video, his father says it wasn’t “very smart” to post to Snapchat, as his mother said the footage was “all over the internet.”
Fucci is also seen claiming he kissed Tristyn, who reacted in shock, before he pushed her away.
On Tuesday, Bailey’s family made their impact statements before the court.
Sister Alexis Bailey started her statement by dropping 114 stones into a jar, “one for each of the 114 stab wounds that my sister had to endure.” She then asked all the unanswered questions she had for Fucci following her sister’s murder.
“Did she see you coming at her with the knife or did you stab her while she wasn’t paying attention? Did she scream out for help or was she paralyzed with agony? Did she cry for my mother? Did she beg you to stop?” she asked. “Did you hear her lungs gargling with blood? What were her last words? Did you stay to watch her die? Or did you leave her there in agonizing pain as you ran away? How long did she suffer? Did you watch the life leave her eyes? Do you know the answer to any of these questions or were you too caught up in the thrill of the kill?”
She said that her “family broke” the day of the murder — adding Fucci “took everything from us.”
“The only justifiable sentence in this case is a full life sentence,” she concluded. “Anything short of that would be an insult not only to our justice system and community but to our family and Tristyn’s legacy.”
As more family members took the stand, they dropped additional stones into the jar, with each stone symbolizing another loss.
“Aiden Fucci has destroyed so many lives by his vicious choice to take my child’s life,” said Tristyn’s mother Stacy, before detailing the day of her daughter’s disappearance up until her body was discovered. “Aiden Fucci, you have destroyed me. You have destroyed my family. You have destroyed Tristyn’s friends. You have destroyed the community that we live in. You have caused a divide amongst friends and neighbors that should have never been. You have taken away my baby girl. My past, my present, my future by your calculated, vile actions.”
“Aiden Fucci, your deplorable actions are unforgivable, and 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,” she concluded. “Your Honor, I plead with you, please consider everything he has done to our daughter and to our family.
Tristyn’s father also addressed Fucci’s short apology after he pleaded guilty in February.
“I want to be clear in saying that your insincere apology is not accepted,” he said. “In no part did I sense any glimmer of true remorse felt in your apology. Without question I know that statement was for some self-serving purpose that you have.”
“I loathe your very existence,” he added, “and know that there is nothing within you that reflects the smallest amount of goodness or human decency.”
Bailey’s family all pushed for the maximum sentence; the hearing is ongoing.
Bailey was reported missing on Mother’s Day 2021, before her body was found later that evening in the woods. Fucci was arrested the next day, first for second-degree murder before the charge was later upped to first-degree.
According to the arrest report obtained by First Coast News, deputies discovered security footage that showed two teens walking together at around 1:45 AM; later footage showed one person walking alone shortly before 3:30 AM, holding a pair of shoes (below).
Yet another video from inside Fucci’s home allegedly shows his mother, Crystal Smith, attempting to wash blood out of his jeans just hours after Bailey was killed. She was later charged with evidence tampering.
After obtaining a warrant, investigators said that among the evidence they found was an outfit that matched the one the suspect was wearing in the video; they also said some of the items seized tested positive for the presence of blood. Investigators also found a notebook containing “drawings of a violent nature,” with one “depicting a Satanic element to them, to include a pentagram.”
According to the Sheriff’s office, Fucci changed his story several times during interviews, and made several “admissions”.
When the first-murder charge was announced, State Attorney R.K. Larizza told reporters Fucci told his friends “he intended to kill someone” and “indicated to witnesses that he was going to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them.” Larizza added Fucci “didn’t say who that was” and pointed out how that statement fit the “facts of the case.”