Florida teen Aiden Fucci pleads guilty in fatal stabbing of 13-year-old cheerleader Tristyn Bailey

A troubled Florida teenager pleaded guilty Monday to the gruesome 2021 murder of a 13-year-old cheerleader in a quiet Jacksonville suburb.

Aiden Fucci, now 16, entered the surprise plea the day he faced trial for stabbing Tristan Bailey 114 times and leaving his body in a wooded area near their community.

“I just want to say that I am guilty and I am sorry to Bailey’s family and to my family,” Fauci said in a brief statement to the court Monday.

Fucci is being charged as an adult, and prosecutors emphasized that they did not offer him any leniency in sentencing as part of the plea deal.

He is not eligible for the death penalty because he committed the heinous crime when he was a 14-year-old minor.

Fauci’s friends told investigators that he openly fantasized about violence and murder in the months leading up to the killing — and that he chose his classmates as targets in a fit of rage.

Tristan Bailey was stabbed 114 times.

Bailey suffered dozens of defensive stab wounds
Bailey suffered dozens of defensive wounds during the attack.
St. Johns County Sheriff

He often took pictures of mutilated corpses and told friends that he heard voices in his head telling him to kill innocent people.

Colleagues told detectives that his home life was turbulent and that he would indulge in dark fantasies to cope with the turmoil.

Bailey was dating both Fucci and another classmate before the crime, and was last caught on surveillance camera in a local cul-de-sac around 1:45 a.m.

Her family reported her missing when she failed to show up for a Mother’s Day breakfast with her family later that morning.

Fauci pleaded guilty to the murder on Monday morning.
Fauci pleaded guilty to the murder on Monday.

A murder weapon
A murder weapon.
SA Attorney’s Office

Both prosecutors and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department emphasized that Bailey, a popular local teenager in a normally quiet neighborhood, had dozens of self-defense wounds indicating a violent struggle for his life.

Her killer appeared to be enjoying the attention in the hours after the slaughter, posting several Snapchat videos showing her in the back of a police car before an initial interview.

Fauci’s mother was also later arrested and charged with tampering with evidence after she tried to wash her son’s blood-soaked jeans after the incident.

The troubled teenager has been repeatedly cited for misbehavior in prison, bragging about the serious crime and threatening both inmates and staff who cross his path.

Fauci could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Fauci could face up to life in prison.
St. Johns County Sheriff.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, and his term could be reviewed after serving 25 years behind bars. The sentence will be pronounced at a later date.

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