Recently filed legal documents are giving the News4JAX I-TEAM new insight into the arguments lawyers for Aiden Fucci may make in his upcoming trial. The now 16-year-old is charged in the fatal stabbing of his schoolmate 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey on Mothers’ Day 2021.
Six months ago, lawyers requested the teenager be transported from the Duval County jail to an unknown location for an unknown reason.
The attorneys for Fucci have asserted that information attached to a notice (pages 3-8) in a specific filing be confidential. A spokesperson for the St. Johns County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller says their letter is not related to their request to transport Fucci.
The News4JAX I-TEAM asked Defense Attorney Belkis Plata, who is not affiliated with the case, why she thinks Fucci’s lawyers wanted him transported…as the teen awaits trial in solitary confinement.
“So the defense is working on preparing a defense for him, and obviously, they don’t want to show their cards,” Plata said.
Plata points out that Fucci’s lawyers have been attempting to get the now 16-year-old removed from solitary confinement in recent court hearings. His lawyers argue the teenager is being held in solitary for 24 hours a day, and denied access to any form of recreation, education, religious services or jail programs.
Fucci’s lawyers say he occasionally is permitted to have a video call with family members and meets with his defense team a few times a month. Plata says Fucci’s lawyers may be preparing the argument, that while Fucci has been in involuntary confinement, his mental competency may have deteriorated.
″I mean, we see that happen in real life, I’ve seen it happen with clients,” Plata said. “And I think studies show that in particularly for children, younger ages, solitary confinement can absolutely affect their mental health status, to the point where he can no longer aid in his defense. And then he has to get competency restoration before the case picks back up and actually moves towards a trial.”
The Clerks of Courts office wrote back to Fucci’s lawyers saying if they do not file a motion to determine confidentiality of court records within 10 days, the information will become public on the 11th day. The letter was dated on December 13, we’ll keep you posted if the reason for this request is made public.