JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Aiden Fucci, the St. Johns County teenager accused in the stabbing death of schoolmate Tristyn Bailey earlier this year, appeared in court Thursday morning and now has a better idea of when he will face a jury.
Judge Lee Smith told both lawyers he hopes to set a trial date for late 2022 for Fucci, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Bailey. The 13-year-old’s body was found on Mother’s Day less than a half-mile from Fucci’s home.
“Well, what are we talking about, probably late fall then? October?” Smith asked.
“Yes sir, conservatively, yes,” Fucci’s public defender responded.
The public defender appointed to represent Fucci said he and the prosecutor both have a death penalty trial in March meaning most depositions in the Fucci case won’t be scheduled until after that.
Fucci’s lawyer also filed a waiver of appearance for all future court dates but the judge compelled his appearance on Thursday and he showed up in person for the first time with a new buzz cut.
Fucci’s demeanor was different than the last time we saw him.
Back in September, Fucci looked perplexed and talked about demons during a virtual pre-trial hearing.
In Thursday’s pretrial hearing, he seemed alert and didn’t say much. Members of Bailey’s family sat in the audience.
According to court records, Fucci’s girlfriend told an investigator he would hear voices that would tell him to kill people. Investigators also said Fucci had a notebook that contained violent and Satanic drawings.
Fucci’s attorney has not asked for his client’s mental competency to be evaluated.
Fucci, 14, is in custody at the Duval County jail while he awaits trial.
Based on the circumstances involved in the case, Fucci will be tried as an adult. He has pleaded not guilty.
Fucci’s mother, Crystal Smith, is charged with tampering with evidence. She’s accused of washing jeans that later tested positive for blood.
Smith’s attorney appeared Thursday in court but she did not.
The judge said he wants to have a trial date set by Feb. 2, that’s when Fucci and Smith have their next pre-trial hearing.