ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The public defender representing 14-year-old Aiden Fucci entered a written not guilty plea on his behalf Thursday in the murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey. The plea was accepted by the court.
The move cancels Fucci’s scheduled arraignment in St. Johns County, which had been set for June 10.
He is now slated to appear in court for a pretrial hearing at 9 a.m. July 28.
Fucci, who is now in the juvenile wing of the Duval County jail, will be tried as an adult in the stabbing death of Bailey. St. Johns County’s jail does not have a juvenile wing.
Fucci was arrested May 10 and was held at the Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Daytona Beach until last week, when he was transported to St. Johns County by the Sheriff’s Office for his first appearance on an upgraded first-degree murder charge.
Bailey’s body was found on Mother’s Day near a retention pond in a cul-de-sac in the Durbin Crossing subdivision, less than a half-mile from Fucci’s home, according to an arrest report. The discovery was made by a neighbor out for a walk around 6 p.m., roughly eight hours after Bailey’s family called 911 to report her missing.
Fucci is the lone suspect in Bailey’s murder. If convicted, Fucci could face up to life in prison, but because of his age, he is not eligible for the death penalty.