A 16-year-old boy from Florida, Aiden Fucci, was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal stabbing of his 13-year-old classmate, Tristyn Bailey, on Mother’s Day in 2021. The incident occurred when Fucci was 14 years old and living in north Florida, where he stabbed Bailey at least 114 times in a wooded area near their homes. The sentencing, handed down by Judge Lee R. Smith, followed emotional victim impact statements from Bailey’s family, who spoke about the impact her death had on them.
Although Fucci pleaded guilty just before his trial was set to start, he was not eligible for the death penalty due to his young age at the time of the crime. His attorneys had sought a 40-year sentence, but the judge ultimately sentenced him to life in prison. Fucci’s case may be reviewed in 25 years under Florida law.
During the two-day sentencing hearing, Fucci’s grandmother, Deborah Spiwak, pleaded for mercy on his behalf, and both Fucci and his parents wrote letters to the judge apologizing for his actions. Investigators had previously revealed that Fucci had told friends about his plans to kill someone, although it was unclear whether Bailey was his intended target from the beginning.