A 14-year-old Florida boy was charged Thursday with first-degree murder, accused of stabbing 13-year-old classmate Tristyn Bailey 114 times and leaving her mutilated body in a wooded area earlier this month.
In announcing that Aiden Fucci would be charged as an adult, R.J. Larizza, state attorney for the 7th Circuit, described a premeditated act during a news conference at the St. Johns County courthouse.
“At least 49 of those stab wounds were to the hands, arms and the head. They were defensive in nature,” Larizza said.
He added, “The bottom line is that premeditation could be inferred certainly from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey had to suffer. Every time that arm went back, and every time that arm went down, that was premeditation.”
Because Fucci has been charged as an adult, the USA TODAY Network is naming him even though he is a juvenile.
Premeditation was also indicated by statements Fucci reportedly made to witnesses in the weeks leading up to the murder that he “intended to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them,” Larizza said.
Asked if Fucci was suffering from mental health issues or receiving counseling, Larizza said no.
Bailey, a student at Patriot Oaks Academy, was found dead on May 9 in a wooded area near her home in northwest St. Johns County, near Jacksonville.
Clothing with traces of blood was found in Fucci’s home. The presumed weapon, a buck knife typically used for hunting, was recovered in a pond near the crime scene.
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Fucci, who has been held at a juvenile detention center since his arrest, was in the process of being transferred to an adult facility on Thursday, Larizza said. As a minor, however, he will be separated from the adult population.
In the weeks since Bailey’s death, people across St. Johns County and beyond have mourned her death and sought to comfort her family and seek justice.