Teen Admits Horrific Murder of Classmate, 13

Aiden Fucci of Florida stabbed Tristyn Bailey to death in 2021
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2021 2:19 AM CDT
Updated Feb 6, 2023 10:10 AM CST
Crystal Smith Scrubbed Son's Bloodstained Jeans: Cops
Tristyn Bailey   (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)
UPDATE Feb 6, 2023 10:10 AM CST

As jury selection was about to begin in his murder trial, a 16-year-old boy in Florida has admitted fatally stabbing a classmate more than 100 times, reports Law & Crime. "I just want to say I'm sorry," Aiden Fucci said in court Monday in St. Johns County. It's quite a change from his flippant public attitude after the murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey in 2021. With his plea, Fucci faces a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison rather than a life sentence. He was 14 at the time of the murder, and his age took the death penalty off the table.

Jun 7, 2021 2:19 AM CDT

The mother of the 14-year-old Florida boy accused of stabbing his 13-year-old classmate, Tristyn Bailey, to death last month has now herself been charged in the case. Police say 35-year-old Crystal Smith scrubbed her son's bloody jeans after authorities questioned the teen at their home on May 9. Tristyn had been reported missing around 10am that day, and her body, riddled with 114 stab wounds, was found eight hours later, News4Jax reports. After the teen suspect left with deputies, police say home surveillance video captured Smith going into his bedroom, removing a pair of jeans, and taking them to the sink to scrub before putting them back in the bedroom, where police ultimately found them, still damp. Both the pants and the sink drain later tested positive for blood, CNN reports.

Later, while the suspect was being questioned at the sheriff's office, the arrest warrant states that "(Smith) asked (her son) if he was sure there was nothing on (his clothes), (her son) responded 'I think so, why?' (Smith) could be observed giving (her son) a questioning look and whispered 'Blood.'" Smith is charged with evidence tampering, a felony. She turned herself in Saturday, First Coast News reports, and was released on $25,000 bond shortly after being booked into jail. Her son has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and remains behind bars without bail, the Florida Times-Union reports. He faces life in prison, and has pleaded not guilty. "Crystal Smith will be held responsible for her role in this case and justice will be served for Tristyn Bailey and her family," the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says in a statement. (More Florida stories.)

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