Tristyn Bailey was 13 on May 10 when she died. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office
A 14-year-old in Florida is accused in the brutal murder of seventh-grader Tristyn Bailey.
The teen’s mom was also arrested after trying to wash blood off her son’s jeans, prosecutors said.
Bailey, who attended the same school as the suspect, was stabbed to death on May 10.
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The mother of a 14-year-old boy charged with first degree murder in Florida has also been arrested for tampering with evidence, according to St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
Aiden Fucci is accused of murdering 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey by stabbing her 114 times. Fucci, despite his age, is being charged as an adult in the brutal murder due to the nature of the crime.
Crystal Smith, Fucci’s mother, was arrested Saturday after authorities alleged she tried to scrub the girl’s blood from her son’s jeans.
Smith, 35, was present when authorities interviewed her son following Bailey’s disappearance, local outlet News4Jax reported. When authorities left the home with her son, Smith was captured on surveillance video washing what appeared to be his jeans in the bathroom sink. The jeans and the sink later tested positive for blood, according to the arrest warrant.
“Tampering with evidence is tampering with justice and cannot be excused or tolerated,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said in a statement.
“Our goal in any investigation is to ensure proper accountability across the board for successful prosecution,” St. Johns County Sheriff Robert A. Hardwick said in a statement following Smith’s arrest. “Crystal Smith will be held responsible for her role in this case and justice will be served for Tristyn Bailey and her family.”
Bailey, who was last seen wearing her cheerleading skirt, was reported missing by her family on the morning of May 10, prompting a countywide search that ended hours later when her body was discovered in the woods near a retention pond off a cul-de-sac about 0.3 miles from Fucci’s home.
The state’s attorney said Thursday the decision to upgrade from second-degree murder to first-degree murder and charge Fucci as an adult came after more details about the case emerged. Larizza said Bailey was stabbed 114 times and that at least 49 wounds inflicted on her hands, arm, and head were “defensive in nature.”
He also said Fucci had told several people ahead of the murder “that he intended to kill someone,” though he did not specify a person.
Fucci and Bailey, who was in seventh grade when she died, attended the same school.
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