ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office on Friday filed its formal charge of tampering with evidence against Crystal Lane Smith, the mother of Aiden Fucci, the teenager accused in the stabbing death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey in St. Johns County.
Smith’s arraignment is set for July 26, but she will likely waive her appearance. Tampering with evidence is a third-degree felony in Florida.
Smith, 35, is accused of trying to wash blood off Fucci’s jeans hours after Bailey was stabbed to death, according to investigators.
Fucci, is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Bailey, who was reported missing on May 9 -- Mother’s Day -- around 10 a.m.
Investigators have said Fucci is the lone suspect in Bailey’s murder. According to investigators, the two were spotted on home surveillance video walking together in the Durbin Crossing community around 1:45 a.m. May 9. The same camera captured one person, matching Fucci’s description, walking back alone a couple of hours later, according to court documents. He was wearing blue jeans.
According to her arrest warrant, after Fucci went with investigators the afternoon of May 9 for questioning in Bailey’s disappearance, Smith was seen on surveillance video inside her house washing Fucci’s blue jeans, which later tested positive for blood. The drain in the sink, where Smith was seen washing the jeans, also tested positive for blood, according to the arrest warrant.
“Tampering with evidence is tampering with justice and cannot be excused or tolerated,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said in a news release when Smith’s arrest was first announced..
Fucci, who will be tried as an adult in Bailey’s murder, has pleaded not guilty. He is slated to appear in court for a pretrial hearing at 9 a.m. July 28.
If convicted, Fucci could face up to life in prison, but because of his age, he is not eligible for the death penalty.
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.