JACKSONVILLE , Fla. – Defense for Aiden Fucci has filed multiple motions ahead of his sentencing trial next week.
Fucci pleaded guilty in February to killing St. Johns County schoolmate Tristyn Bailey.
Curtis Fallgatter, a criminal defense attorney unrelated to the case, said it’s no uncommon for a defense to file motions ahead of trial because they want to ensure their client can receive the best possible sentence at the hearing, which could potentially exclude a life sentence.
Fucci’s defense lawyer filed a motion asking the judge to prohibit Dr. Gregory Prichard, who is a psychologist, from testifying at the hearing.
The motion says Prichard admitted in his deposition that he could not provide a diagnosis of Fucci without an in-person evaluation. The defense says any opinion Prichard offers would be “rooted in a review of discovery material, not any mental health testing or diagnostics,” making him “unduly prejudicial.”
Fallgatter said the reason attorneys filed to block Prichard from speaking is that when they deposed him, he probably mentioned something that could be harmful to their case.
Fucci’s lawyer also reminded the judge that she has chosen not to present any testimony from a mental health professional, and if Prichard is allowed to testify, she would be compelled to present psychologist Stephen Bloomfield in rebuttal of Prichard’s opinion.
Another motion was filed asking the judge to bar the state from calling witnesses who would testify about Fucci’s behavior while in the Duval County Jail. In January, jail reports obtained News4JAX from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office showed Fucci was involved in multiple disturbances while incarcerated at the jail.
Fallgater said the judge could likely agree with the motions because it will help keep the case clean.
”If the judge were to allow evidence that would be improper and reversible and an appellate court would say, ‘You shouldn’t have done that. You have to do the sentencing all over again.’ You don’t want that as a judge; you want to have a clean sentencing,” he said.
There have also been five letters sent to the judge ahead of the hearing, including a letter from a friend of Tristyn’s grandmother, who said Fucci should never get out of prison.
News4JAX reached out to the attorney of the Bailey family. Matthew H. Hinson said the do not anticipate having a comment prior to the conclusion of the sentencing.