114 Stab Wounds: Boy, 14, Will Be Tried as Adult

Teen allegedly murdered a 13-year-old cheerleader in Florida
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2021 7:23 AM CDT
114 Stab Wounds: Boy, 14, Will Be Tried as Adult
Tristyn Bailey   (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

A 14-year-old boy in Florida will be charged as an adult with first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing a 13-year-old cheerleader 114 times. Based on the law and evidence, "it was not a difficult decision to make that he should be charged as an adult," 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney RJ Larizza said Thursday, per NBC News. "It was really the only choice that we could make," he added, per WTVT. He noted the attack on Tristyn Bailey of St. Johns County, who was found dead in a wooded area on May 9, was so vicious that the tip of the knife broke, becoming lodged in her head. The accused was initially booked for second-degree murder prior to a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder in adult court. "We fully support the grand jury indictment," Sheriff's Office commander Howard "Skip" Cole said, per NBC, noting case details are hard to hear.

"To say that it was horrific could arguably be made as an understatement," Larizza said, noting "the sheer number of stab wounds" infer premeditation. He also said the accused, whose clothing allegedly held Tristyn's blood, told people "that he was going to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them, which are certainly the facts of this case." The suspect attended Patriot Oaks Academy, a public K-8 school, where Tristyn was in seventh grade, per People. Authorities determined she received 49 defensive stab wounds as she fought her attacker. Then considered a witness, the accused had shared a photo of himself flashing the peace sign from the back of a police car on Snapchat while Tristyn was still considered missing. "Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately," read the caption. He is held at a juvenile justice facility in Volusia County. (More first-degree murder stories.)

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