A 14-year-old boy is accused of stabbing a classmate to death in Florida in a brutal crime earlier this month.
Aiden Fucci, charged with the murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, could be tried as an adult. Authorities believe Tristyn was stabbed a "horrific" amount of times.
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Will Aiden Fucci be tried as an adult for the murder of Tristyn Bailey?
Fucci was charged with second-degree murder on May 10, one day after Tristyn's body was found.
Prosecutors have the option of charging the young teen as an adult, and a decision is expected within a few weeks.
"The state attorney does have the discretion to refer a 14 or 15-year-old for a direct file to be tried as an adult under murder charges," lawyer Curtis Fallgatter, who is not involved in the case, told First Coast News.
The lawyer added that the second-degree murder charge is the most severe he can face at the moment.
"Those particular crimes that carry serious penalties, life in prison, for example, death penalty, capital type cases, have to be returned by a grand jury," he told the news outlet.
The lawyer emphasized: "If juvenile sanctions are imposed, that would yield a much more lenient sentence than adult sanctions."
Law and safety expert Dale Carson told radio station WOKV that it is not likely that Fucci will be tried as a juvenile.
“One of the reasons it’s going to happen is because in a murder charge, the defendant has to be granted certain protections that are not available in juvenile court," Carson told the station.
"Spontaneous statements" made by Fucci may be used against him amid the push to charge him as an adult, according to St Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick.
Tristyn was last seen in St Johns on the morning of May 9 and was reported missing by her family. Her body was found that same day.
Fucci was a fellow student at her school.
Hardwick said during an interview with Fox News that "the suspect in the very beginning was very cooperative" when the situation was being dealt with as a missing person case.
However, "he said some spontaneous other statements that will be used against him," Hardwick added.
The sheriff said that he hopes Fucci is charged as an adult for first-degree murder.
The sheriff's office said that Bailey's body was found at the end of a retention pond, and that she appeared to have significant injury to her head and other trauma.
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