A Florida teen sentenced to life in prison for savagely stabbing a 13-year-old cheerleader to death was described by the judge as having a senseless desire to simply “feel what it was like to kill someone.”
Aiden Fucci, 16, who stabbed Tristyn Bailey 114 times before dumping her body in a wooded area near Jacksonville in 2021, received the maximum sentence due to the brutal, premeditated nature of the murder, according to St. Johns County Circuit Judge Lee Smith.
“This was not done out of greed.” It was not done in retaliation, retribution, or revenge. According to News4Jax.com, Smith stated, “It was not a crime of passion.”
“It was not a crime that was committed because he felt rejected by her. It was not done in a fit of uncontrollable anger. There was no reason. There was no purpose,” he added.
“It was done for no other reason than to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone,” Smith concluded.
The judge said he took Fucci’s age into account when sentencing him, noting that his brain was not fully developed when he committed the heinous slaying at the age of 14, according to WFLA.com.
However, the teen killer’s perplexing lack of motive indicated that he did not kill his classmate impulsively and had thus planned her murder, Smith said.
“She suffered a painful, horrifying death from someone that she trusted … Her screams were most likely stifled by her own suffocating lungs,” Smith said.
“There was a heightened level of premeditation in this case.”
The slaying was “up close, personal” and “shocking,” he added.
During the investigation, Fucci’s pals told authorities he openly fantasized about violence and murder in the months leading up to the killing — and that he picked the cheerleader in a fit of rage.
He would often draw pictures of mutilated bodies and allegedly later bragged about the murder in jail.
Fucci, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February, apologized for the slaying in a handwritten letter that was read in court.
“I’m sorry that you didn’t get to know her that long. You did not have any long relationships with [Tristyn] and for that I’m sorry,” he wrote.
“For the community, I’m sorry I brought all this pain on every day and I’m sorry and I know my [apology] will not fix anything or bring her back but I hope it helps in some way.”
During a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Fucci’s family members pleaded with the judge to show the teen mercy.
“I’d die if I couldn’t spend some time with him before I die,” Aiden Fucci’s grandmother, Deborah Spiwak, told the court.
Meanwhile, Bailey’s distraught mother said the troubled teen was “beyond saving,” and she described being haunted by memories of her daughter’s final moments alive.
Fucci faced 40 years to life in prison and was ineligible for the death penalty because he committed the crime while a minor.
Fucci was scheduled to stand trial as an adult, but on the day the trial was to begin, he unexpectedly entered a guilty plea.