Aiden Fucci, 16, Sentenced to Life In Prison for Brutal Murder of Teenage Cheerleader Tristyn Bailey

The judge said there was "only one appropriate sentence in this case," calling it one of the "most difficult and shocking" he's ever seen.

16-year-old Aiden Fucci has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the first-degree murder of 13-year-old cheerleader Tristyn Bailey. He was facing a minimum of 40 years in prison, up to life; due to his age, the Florida teen was not eligible for the death penalty.

Judge Lee Smith revealed his decision on Friday morning, saying, “There is only one appropriate sentence in this case,” before sharing his ruling. Because he’s a juvenile, Smith said Fucci’s sentence would be eligible for review in 25 years.

Read Handwritten Letter Teen Killer Aiden Fucci Wrote to Victim's Family

Smith said he took Fucci’s age, mental health, home life and letters from the boy’s family into consideration, as well as the fact he was the “sole participant” and was “100% responsible for this murder.” He also said he believed that there is a “poor prognosis for rehabilitation” in this case, before acknowledging how “compelling” the victim impact statements were in court earlier this week and how much Tristyn’s murder affected the entire community.

He said the case was “probably the most difficult and shocking case” in the county in his 16 years practicing law and 30 years in the community. Recalling just how brutal the crime was and how “difficult” the autopsy photos were to view, Smith said Fucci’s behavior before the murder showed a “heightened level of premeditation” and it appeared he understood the consequences of his actions. Smith also found it “troubling” that there appeared to be no motive for the murder — and was committed for “no other reason but to satisfy this defendant’s internal desire to feel what it was like to kill someone.”

Bailey’s family members were in the courtroom as the decision was announced; her parents were seen crying after the sentencing (inset above).

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Before the announcement, Judge Smith addressed Bailey’s family — warning them that the sentence itself won’t “heal or provide closure” to their grief. “No matter what sentence this court imposes today, it cannot heal you. I cannot bring her back. I cannot provide a closure to this. You still have a lot of healing today,” he said, telling them to take the time they need go through all the stages of grief and reminding them Tristyn’s “spirit lives on in each and every one of you.”

Bailey was reported missing on Mother’s Day 2021, before her body was found later that evening in the woods. The teenage victim was stabbed 114 times, with 49 defensive stab wounds to the hands, arms and head. The tip of a knife used to attack her broke off and was “located by the medical examiner in the scalp” of the victim.

Fucci, who was 14 at the time, was arrested the next day, first for second-degree murder before the charge was later upped to first-degree.

Previously Unseen Snapchat and Surveillance Video Released of Teen Who Pled Guilty to Murdering Cheerleader

The victim’s family members all appeared on the stand during this week’s sentencing hearings, giving impact statements to the court in which they all pushed for the maximum sentence possible for Fucci.

“The only justifiable sentence in this case is a full life sentence,” said Tristyn’s sister Alexis. “Anything short of that would be an insult not only to our justice system and community but to our family and Tristyn’s legacy.”

“Aiden Fucci, your deplorable actions are unforgivable, and I will pray every day that you stay in prison for the rest of your life and never be able to harm anyone else in this world again,” added Tristyn’s mother, Stacy. “Your Honor, I plead with you, please consider everything he has done to our daughter and to our family.

“I loathe your very existence,” said her father, “and know that there is nothing within you that reflects the smallest amount of goodness or human decency.”

Watch more of the impact statements here.

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The brutal murder and Fucci’s behavior first made headlines after the teen uploaded posts to Snapchat while in police custody (below).

One of his posts was a message reading, “Hey guys has inybody seen Tristyn lately,” before he shared videos of him and another boy joking around in the cruiser.

According to the arrest report obtained by First Coast News, deputies discovered security footage that showed two teens walking together at around 1:45 AM; later footage showed one person walking alone shortly before 3:30 AM, holding a pair of shoes.

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Yet another video from inside Fucci’s home allegedly shows his mother, Crystal Smith, attempting to wash blood out of his jeans just hours after Bailey was killed. She was later charged with evidence tampering.

After obtaining a warrant, investigators said that among the evidence they found was an outfit that matched the one the suspect was wearing in the video; they also said some of the items seized tested positive for the presence of blood. Investigators also found a notebook containing “drawings of a violent nature,” with one “depicting a Satanic element to them, to include a pentagram.”

When the first-murder charge was announced, State Attorney R.K. Larizza told reporters Fucci told his friends “he intended to kill someone” and “indicated to witnesses that he was going to kill someone by taking them in the woods and stabbing them.”

'Confused' Aiden Fucci Rocks and Mutters About Demons Taking His Soul in Pre Murder Trial Hearing

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