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Aiden Fucci sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey

"She suffered a painful, horrifying death from someone she trusted," Judge Smith said before he delivered Fucci's sentence.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Aiden Fucci was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for the murder of Tristyn Bailey in May 2021. He was 14 when he stabbed his classmate 114 times.

The sentence comes after he pleaded guilty to murder prior to jury selection in February. 

"She suffered a painful, horrifying death from someone she trusted," Judge Smith said before he delivered Fucci's sentence. The judge was visibly emotional.

Fucci, now 16, faced a minimum of 40 years in prison for stabbing Tristyn in their St. Johns County neighborhood on Mother's Day. Because he's a juvenile, his sentence will be up for review after 25 years.

Tristyn's family pleaded in their victim impact statements for Fucci to receive the maximum sentence. They do not believe he is remorseful and say the apology he gave when he pleaded guilty in February was a "lie."

Fucci's family asked for mercy during the sentencing hearing. His mother wrote in a letter to the judge that he is "not beyond saving" and Fucci's grandmother testified she believed he could be rehabilitated with counseling and therapy.

The St, Johns County Sheriff's Office provided the following statement following the sentencing:

“On Mother’s Day 2021, The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office got the privilege to meet the Bailey 7. If not for that horrific incident, we wouldn’t be here today. From the moment the call was received, a team came together to work this case comprised of members of our community, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and the 7th Judicial Circuit’s State Attorney’s Office.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office couldn’t be more grateful for the partnership we have formed with the Bailey Family. They have been patient, respectful, understanding, and truly saw this case all the way through to the end.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize and commend Sergeant Kurt Hannon and Victim Advocate Ashley Mitchell for their diligence and dedication to this case and the Bailey Family. Their resolve for justice has never wavered. We would also like to recognize the efforts of Prosecutors Jennifer Dunton and Mark Johnson. They prepared for this case and were ready to go to trial and win.

To our community, thank you for your steadfast support of our agency and the Bailey Family. From providing video surveillance to help establish a timeline, to supporting your fellow neighbor, or assisting with search efforts, you all contributed to this case. We thank you for your support and for not only allowing us to do our jobs, but also trusting us.

The facts and evidence in this case were overwhelming and would have resulted in a guilty verdict regardless thanks to the great work of our Investigative Team in partnership with the prosecution. Today, we finished what we started together and justice was served with a life sentence being handed down to Aiden Fucci.

To the Bailey Family, you are no longer the Bailey 7. You are the Bailey 927 together with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. This agency will forever be connected to the Bailey Family and this community will forever be #BaileyStrong.”

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