Tristyn Bailey’s family share heartbreaking new photos as classmate killer sentenced to life
The family of murdered 13-year-old Florida schoolgirl Tristyn Bailey have paid tribute to the “treasured” teenager as her killer was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Tristyn was stabbed more than 100 times in May 2021 by her classmate Aiden Fucci, who is now 16.
Fucci pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February and was handed down his life sentence in St Johns County Court by Judge R Lee Smith on 24 March. His sentence can be reviewed after he spends 25 years behind bars.
“This was not done out of greed. It was not done in retaliation or retribution or revenge. 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,” said the judge.
“It was done for no other reason than to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone,” Judge Smith said. “This leads this court to the conclusion that there is only one appropriate sentence in this case.”
As a juvenile when the offence took place, he is not eligible for the death penalty, but he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Friends and family of the victim will give heartbreaking statements to the judge in the days before he handed down the sentence.
Tristyn’s family also released previously unseen photos of her along with a heartbreaking statement about what she had meant to individual members of her family.
“To her family, Tristyn fulfilled every role to the fullest. As the baby of the family, she is treasured in every way,” the family said.
“She was absolutely adored by her grandparents and spent much time with them even managing to get the most attention as a baby from her grandad than any sibling before her.
“As a daughter, Tristyn always exceeded the expectations that were put in front of her. She was dedicated and thoughtful. Stacy and Tristyn enjoyed a great many memories from cheer weekends and enjoyed a close bond.”
And they added: “Tristyn’s best role may have been as a sibling. She was always able to engage with each of them. When any one of them had anything to do, she was the first to go with them.
“Brittney and Tristyn, despite being 16 years apart, were best friends and kindred spirits. She and Alexis shared in their deep love of animals and spent a lot of time together with Alexis being almost a 2nd mom.
“As the only brother, Teegan commands a special bond with each of his sisters and Teegan was able to bring out Tristyn’s serious side. They would talk about goals and aspirations and outline the work to accomplish them.
“Sophia and Tristyn were easily described as the ying/yang relationship. From the moment Tristyn entered the world, they spent all their time together and were the best of friends.”
And the family concluded their tribute, by saying: “Tristyn made an incredible impact in 13 years and it is a travesty to not see what she would have done. We remain forever, Tristyn Bailey Strong!”