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Aiden Fucci appeared in court Monday to limit testimony about prior 'bad acts'

The teen who murdered St. Johns County cheerleader Tristyn Bailey wants to prohibit evidence about his behavior in school and jail.
Aiden Fucci with is attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rosemarie Peoples.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — * The above video was originally published Feb. 2, 2023.

A teen scheduled to be sentenced for the first-degree murder of a 13-year-old St. Johns County girl later this week appeared in court Monday afternoon for a hearing on last-minute motions filed in the case.

The motions, filed by Aiden Fucci's lawyers late Friday, seek to limit testimony about his “prior bad acts,” including his conduct in school and in jail. A third motion seeks to prohibit the testimony of a psychologist that prosecutors intend to call as a witness.

Fucci pleaded guilty in early February for the Mother's Day murder death of his Patriot Oaks Academy classmate, Tristyn Bailey in May 2021. An autopsy found she was stabbed to death 114 times. 

Two motions seeking to limit evidence of Fucci’s "prior bad acts" would preclude testimony about his conduct in jail, including fights, threats made to guards or other inmates and bullying other teens for commissary -- all complaints noted in his file. Less is known about Fucci’s school conduct, since those records are confidential, but reports obtained by First Coast News indicate that several of his teachers found him disrespectful. One teacher described him as “a jerk” and “a punk.”

Reports also show that Fucci got in trouble once for throwing a desk shield at a female classmate and threatening to her out a window.

A third motion says Dr. Gregory Prichard should not be allowed to testify about Fucci’s mental state because he has never evaluated the now 15-year-old defendant. The motion says that Pritchard would be relying on “statements from teachers and students, and discovery as provided by the prosecution to include by not limited to the medical examiner report, crime scene reports, and depositions.”

Pritchard told Fucci’s defense team in deposition “that he could not provide a diagnosis of the Defendant in absence of an in-person evaluation,” according to the motion. “At no point does Dr. Prichard reference or rely on a mental health evaluation or testing of the Defendant for his professional opinion; but rather relies on statements made during the criminal murder investigation.”

Fucci’s defense team “has chosen not to present any mental health testimony from any licensed professional,” according to the motion.

Monday’s hearing is expected to take at least an hour.

Fucci’s sentencing begins Tuesday at 9 a.m. and could stretch into Thursday. Circuit Judge Lee Smith said he intends to pronounce sentence Friday. Fucci faces 40 years to life in prison. Because he is a juvenile, he will be eligible for a sentence review after 25 years.


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