Aiden Fucci WON'T face death penalty but may get life in jail for ‘fatally stabbing cheerleader Tristyn 114 TIMES’

AIDEN Fucci won't face the death penalty but may get life in jail for allegedly stabbing a cheerleader 114 times.

His appearance comes just hours after it was announced that the 14-year-old will be tried as an adult and charged with premeditated murder in the death of 13-year-old Tristyn.

Read our Aiden Fucci live blog for the very latest news and updates…



Fucci had previously been charged as a juvenile on one count of second-degree murder. He now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The teenager was wearing a black shirt and a white face mask that he had pulled down onto his chin. He was standing up in a white room for his appearance. He initially played with his hair to push it off of his face.

Fucci spoke to confirm who he was when asked by Judge Maltz. He then raised his right hand and replied "yes sir" when he was sworn in.

The judge confirmed that there is probable cause to indict Fucci on the charge, but confirmed that due to his age he will not face the death penalty.

The first appearance hearing lasted for less than 10 minutes and concluded with the judge setting Fucci's arraignment for the "next week or two."

In a press conference announcing the upgraded charges on Thursday, Florida State Attorney RJ Larizza also revealed new details in the case.

Larizza said it gave him "no pleasure" to pursue first-degree murder charges against Fucci, but said the "horrific" facts in the case "made it an easy decision to make."

"It's not only appropriate, but it's the only choice," he said.

Fucci's court appearance comes as:

  • He could be sentenced for 25 years to life
  • He 'told his friends he wanted to stab someone'
  • It was revealed he 'stabbed Bailey 114 times'
  • Bailey's body was found near a pond
  • It was unearthed that his dad was previously jailed for child abuse
  • Cops found 'bloody clothes' in Fucci's room

Larizza revealed for the first time that Tristyn had been stabbed 114 times – with 49 of those wounds sustained to her hands and arms as she "fought for her life."

Police said they discovered what they believe to be the murder weapon, a folding buck knife, from a pond near to where Tristyn's body was found on May 9.

The tip of the knife was missing, which medical examiners later located lodged in Tristyn's scalp.

Explaining the premeditated murder charge, Larizza said: "Premeditation can be inferred from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey had to suffer. 

"[But] It's not just the fact she was stabbed 114 times – it's also information that we were able to glean from witnesses."


Larizza alleged that Fucci made comments to "several people" that he "intended to kill someone."

"He didn't say who that was but he indicated that he was going to kill someone by taking them into the woods and stabbing them which are certainly the facts of this case," Larizza continued.

On the night of Tristyn's death, Larizza says the pair had been hanging out with a few friends before they were eventually left alone together.

Currently, prosecutors say that have no evidence suggest that Fucci specifically targeted Tristyn.

"This could just be a case of wrong place, wrong time," Larizza said.

None of the others who were with the pair the night Tristyn died are suspected of wrongdoing.

But the prosecutor voiced frustration that Fucci's alleged plans to commit homicide were "not taken seriously" when he confessed them to "several" of his peers.

"Could this have been prevented? We can't be sure," he said, adding that the murder should serve as a cautionary tale to parents that they "need to know what your kids are doing and saying."



Larizza refused to disclose whether the killing was sexually motivated, or whether Tristyn had been sexually assaulted during the murder.

He did however disclose that investigators found Fucci's DNA on Tristyn's body.

They also found Tristyn's DNA on shoes and a t-shirt found in Fucci's bedroom, Larizza said.

When pressed by reporters, Larizza said there is no evidence to suggest that Fucci suffers from any psychological conditions. He also said that the teen had no previous criminal history.

The state attorney said it "would be an understatement" to describe Tristyn's murder as "horrific."

"She was fighting for her life. It's just sad that we have to talk about that," he said.

Fucci, 14, had previously been charged as a juvenile with second-degree murder in Trystin's death.

He was arrested on May 10 just hours after her body was found by a pond in a wooded area.

More than 700,000 people had signed an online petition urging prosecutors to try Fucci as an adult for the brutal attack and upgrade his charges to murder in the first degree.

Prosecutors had until May 31st – or 21 days after the date of his arrest – to decide whether to try Fucci as an adult.

Had prosecutors declined, he wouldn't have legally been allowed to be held in jail past the age of 21.

Now Larizza says prosecutors will seek a life sentence without parole but added that Aiden would likely be able to appeal it due to a state-wide effort to reduce sentences for juveniles.

Should he be convicted and sentenced to life, Larizza said Fucci's case would be reviewed after 25 years where a judge could either decide to reduce his sentence or release him.

Tristyn Bailey's family released a statement shortly after Larizza's press conference, saying they "appreciate" the new charges against Fucci.

"We [also] greatly appreciate the tremendous community outpouring from all parts of the world. Particularly for those in St. Johns that have helped from the Mother’s Day search, the vigils, remembrances and memorials.

"With the press conference sharing details of this heinous crime, the caring and love shown from the people and businesses to raise up the memory of Tristyn and the resolve of our community serve as a beacon of light in the darkness."

The family continued: "We do ask for your continued respect for our privacy as well as of Tristyn’s teammates and her school. As we move forward, we will seek to keep Tristyn’s memory alive and the spirit of the community."

Last week, a judge allowed Fucci's original attorney to withdraw from the case.

The move came after his father, Jason Fucci, a convicted child abuser, was granted indigency status by a judge, having initially been rejected.

Jacksonville attorney Anwar Snober withdrew as Fucci's counsel. The teen will now be represented by the public defender's office.

He is currently being held state-run juvenile detention facility in Volusia County without bond.

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