A 13-Year-Old Cheerleader In Florida Was Found Stabbed 114 Times. Her Classmate Now Admits He Killed Her.

florida teen guilty murder cheerleader tristyn bailey aiden fucci
Source: St. John County Sheriff's Office

Feb. 7 2023, Published 1:40 p.m. ET

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A Florida teenager pleaded guilty to the horrifying 2021 murder of a 13-year-old cheerleader on the day his trial was set to begin.

On Feb. 6, Aiden Fucci, 16, was to face trial for the stabbing death of Tristyn Bailey, whose body was found in the woods in Jacksonville after she had been stabbed 114 times, the New York Post reported.

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In a brief statement to the court, Fucci, who was 14 at the time of the slaying, said he was pleading guilty and was “sorry to the Bailey family and to my family,” The Florida Times-Union reported.

Fucci was charged as an adult and prosecutors stated they did not offer any kind of leniency in sentencing as part of the plea agreement.

He is not eligible for the death penalty since the crime was committed while he was minor.

On May 9, 2021, Bailey was briefly reported missing and was last seen walking with Fucci in their neighborhood shortly after 1 a.m.

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Her body was located later that day in a wooded area by a neighbor.

During the investigation, Fucci’s friends told investigators that he openly fantasized about violence and murder in the months leading up to Bailey’s death and he picked her as the target in a fit of rage.


In the arrest report, Fucci confirmed he was with Bailey the night of the killing and they had gotten into an argument. He said he pushed the girl to the ground, and she struck her head. He then stated he walked around a while before heading to his home around 3:30 a.m.

Bailey’s body was found near a retention pond not far from Fucci’s home. A medical examiner determined she had suffered 114 stab wounds, 49 of which were deemed defensive, The Florida Times-Union reported.

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A broken-off knife tip was found in Bailey’s skull, and a buck knife Fucci owned was recovered from a nearby pond.

According to the New York Post, in the hours after the murder took place, Fucci posted several Snapchat videos from the back of a police car.

The suspect's mother, Crystal Smith, was later arrested and charged with evidence tampering after detectives claim she attempted to wash the blood out of her son’s jeans after the incident took place, according to authorities.

The teenage boy has been repeatedly cited for misconduct while in jail, bragging about the gruesome murder and threatening both inmates and staffers, reports state.

Fucci faces a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced later this year, but he could have his term reviewed after serving 25 years behind bars.


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