JACKSONVILLE, FL – The 14-year-old suspect charged with the fatal stabbing of a 13-year-old girl is reportedly going to be tried as an adult, according to reports. The teen suspect is facing life in prison after authorities say he stabbed the victim 114 times.
A Florida teen will be tried as an adult after he allegedly killed a girl, stabbing her 114 times in an attack so vicious that the blade broke and got stuck in the victim's head, authorities say. https://t.co/40wTueHxVu
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 29, 2021
On May 9th, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office reportedly discovered the body of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, a young cheerleader at Patriot Oaks Academy in St. Johns, at approximately 6:00 p.m. in a wooded area within the Jacksonville suburb.
During the course of the investigation, authorities uncovered surveillance footage from approximately 1:15 a.m. on May 9th where Bailey can be seen walking in a residential area. The same surveillance footage also showcased the suspect, 14-year-old Aiden Fucci.
Fucci was initially treated as a witness while Bailey was first considered missing, which Fucci reportedly took a selfie from the back of a police vehicle while being brought in for questioning prior to the young girl’s body being discovered.
In the selfie, Fucci is making a peace sign and captioned the selfie with:
“Hey guys has inybody (sic) seen Tristyn lately.”
Authorities later announced the arrest of Fucci on May 10th, noting that both he and the victim attended school together.
An arrest report noted that “several items of evidentiary value were located within the defendant’s bedroom which were consistent with clothing observed in the aforementioned video surveillance.” Among those pieces of evidence were “items” that “yielded a presumptive positive test result for the presence of blood.”
BREAKING: The teen accused of killing 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey will be tried as an adult and is now facing a 1st degree murder charge, court documents show.
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) May 27, 2021
On May 27th, 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza confirmed that Fucci will be tried as an adult for the murder of Bailey:
“It brings me no pleasure to be charging a 14-year-old as an adult with first-degree murder. But I can tell you also the executive team and I reviewed all the facts, all the circumstances, the applicable law and it was not a difficult decision to make, that he should be charged as an adult. It’s a sad decision and a sad state of affairs.”
Larizza stated that the term “horrific” was an “understatement” to describe what Bailey endured when she was killed:
“To say that it was horrific could arguably be made as an understatement… Bottom line, premeditation can be inferred certainly from just the sheer number of stab wounds that Tristyn Bailey had to suffer.”
Officials say that Bailey was stabbed 114 times, which 49 of those stab wounds appeared to be “defensive wounds” along the victim’s arms, hands and head while she tried to ward off her attacker.
Larizza explained that every time the suspect brought the edged weapon down, it was another sign of “premeditation”:
“Every time that arm went back and every time that arm went down, that was premeditation.”
Larizza also noted that Fucci had allegedly told his friends that he sought to kill someone, in a very similar fashion as Bailey was killed, without noting who he intended to murder:
“He didn’t say who that was, but he indicated to witnesses that he was going to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them, which are certainly the facts of this case.”
13-Year-Old Cheerleader Tristyn Bailey Was Allegedly Stabbed 114 Times While Fighting Off Killer: Authorities https://t.co/GP37GwGmMv
— People (@people) May 28, 2021
Authorities say that fatal stabbing of the young girl was so brutal that the tip of the knife had broken off in the young girl’s head.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office commander Howard “Skip” Cole noted the unsettling nature of the details of this murder, while voicing support of Fucci being tried as an adult:
“It’s difficult to hear all that… We fully support the grand jury indictment.”
Since Fucci is under the age of 18, he cannot be subject to the death penalty if convicted. However, Fucci does face life in prison for the offense.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
In other news from Florida, a 24-year-old woman was arrested earlier in May after leading authorities on a high-speed chase, where she was reportedly extracted from the vehicle nearly naked after the pursuit ended.
Here’s that previous report.
TAMPA, FL – A 24-year-old woman who reportedly led the Florida Highway Patrol on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle was reportedly removed from the allegedly stolen vehicle while being “nearly fully unclothed,” according to reports.
Nearly naked Florida woman arrested after leading police on 110 mph chase https://t.co/lR5F9ubR5a
— All Things WSB-TV (@AllThingsWSB) May 23, 2021
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 24-year-old Rachel Lynn Stefancich was arrested after having led authorities on a nearly two-hour high speed pursuit down the I-75 in an allegedly stolen Cadillac on May 22nd.
Speeds during the pursuit, which ended roughly 100 miles from where the initial report of the stolen Cadillac came in, reached as high as 110 miles per hour, according to officials.
But what really gives this case that Florida panache was the fact that when Stefancich was removed from the reportedly stolen vehicle while being “nearly fully unclothed,” according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The FHP wound up getting involved after receiving an alert from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office noting that their deputies were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle that was headed southbound on I-75 in Sumter County.
One trooper had seen the stolen vehicle in question on I-75 by the time it reached Hernando County and attempted to pull the vehicle over, but authorities say that Stefancich floored the gas and reached speeds as high as 110 mph on the Interstate.
The pursuit transitioned from I-75 over to State Route 52, where pursuing officers utilized a pit maneuver to stop the vehicle and get the woman into custody.
In a statement from the Florida Highway Patrol, the following was noted about the arrest of the suspect:
“Rachael Lynn Stefancich, 24, of Plant City, nearly fully unclothed, was immediately taken into custody and arrested for grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing & eluding, possession of methamphetamine and driving while license suspended.”
The suspect is now sitting inside of the Hernando County jail, which jail records also show that Stefancich has previous arrests for petite theft and drug possession – among other various charges.
Needless to say, once somebody says it happened in Florida then, no matter the description of the charges or circumstances: it all makes sense.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.