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‘Death Is Not a Possible Sentence’: Aiden Fucci Faces Judge for First Time on Adult Murder Charge


Aiden Fucci swears to tell the truth in a May 28, 2021 first appearance on an adult first-degree murder charge.  (Image via court video feed by way of WKMG-TV.)

Aiden Fucci, the Florida teen accused of murdering Tristyn Bailey by stabbing her 114 times, appeared in court for the first time Friday morning to face first-degree murder charges as an adult.

Fucci is 14. Bailey was 13.

“Are you, uh, Aiden Fucci?” Judge Howard M. Maltz asked.

“Yes, sir,” Fucci responded.

The judge swore Fucci in to advise him of the purpose of the first appearance and of his rights, such as the right to an attorney, the right to a public defender, the right to remain silent as to incriminating statements.

“Yes, sir,” Fucci said when Judge Maltz asked if he understood those rights.

Aiden Fucci is seen in a mugshot released May 28, 2021, by the St. Johns County, Fla. Sheriff’s Office.

“You have been indicted by the St. Johns County Grand Jury on the charge of first-degree premeditated murder, Maltz continued. “That is a capital felony. That is normally punishable by up to death or life imprisonment. In your case, because you are not yet 18 years old, death is not a possible sentence pursuant to the Florida and United States Supreme Courts, but this charge does carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Do you understand the charge against you?”

“Yes, sir,” Fucci responded.

Maltz then said there was probable cause to move forward with the case. Probable cause is a judicial determination that there is a fair probability based on the known evidence that a crime was committed and that the named defendant committed it.

Tristyn Bailey is seen in an image released by the St. John’s County, Florida Sheriff’s Office

The state requested that the defendant be held without bond.

Public Defender Rosemarie Peoples said the defense would address the issue of pretrial release “at a later date” with “appropriate motions and witnesses.”

Fucci said he had no other questions about the proceeding.

The next step in the proceeding is an arraignment, Judge Maltz said, unless the defense waived the arraignment in writing. If an arraignment occurs, it should be scheduled within the next few weeks, Maltz added.

The court appearance followed a graphic news conference by Seventh Judicial District State Attorney R.J. Larizza on Thursday which outlined the charges sought by the state.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on Friday said it transported Fucci from the Volusia County Juvenile Justice Facility to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office inmate facility in order to make the first appearance. After court concluded, the sheriff’s office said it took Fucci to the Duval County Jail “on a courtesy hold.”

“This is going to be a long road for the Bailey family and our community,” said St. Johns County Sheriff Robert A. Hardwick. “Please continue to respect their privacy and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Watch the proceeding below:

Read some of the case file below:

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.