Aiden Fucci, 17, of St. Johns pleaded guilty Monday, Feb. 6, to first-degree murder in the slaying of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey on May 9, 2021. The plea was entered as jury selection was scheduled to begin.
Fucci, then 14, was arrested after Bailey’s body was discovered in a wooded area off Saddlestone Drive. The victim was reported missing by her family that morning, having not been seen since late the previous evening.
Members of the community responded to a notification from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, searching for the missing girl.
Bailey was found to have sustained 114 stab wounds.
Fucci and Bailey were acquainted, and both attended Patriot Oaks Academy.
A hearing will be held Feb. 23 in St. Johns County Circuit Court prior to sentencing.
“Aiden Fucci’s decision to enter a guilty plea today is nothing more than a testament to the hard work and dedication of the exceptional men and women of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office,” wrote Sheriff Robert Hardwick in a statement. “This was also an incredible community effort. The citizens of St. Johns always show up, and this case was no different. The immediate assistance from our community reaffirms the partnership we have with our citizens.”
Hardwick also praised the support shown to the Bailey family by members of the community and thanked the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for its assistance. He recognized the work done by the State Attorney’s Office, which he said put forth countless hours to prepare for Monday’s proceedings.
“Lastly, the cooperation between our agency and the Bailey family has been unparalleled,” Hardwick wrote. “Their strength and grace throughout this case has been incredible. This agency will forever be connected to the Bailey family, and this community will forever be #BaileyStrong.”
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