st.Johns County, Florida – After two days of graphic and often emotional testimony, Judge R. Lee Smith on Friday sentenced 16-year-old Aiden Fuch to life for murdering a 13-year-old classmate in the early hours of Mother’s Day 2021. sentenced to death. .
Futch, who was 14 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and admitted to brutally stabbing Tristin Bailey more than 100 times in the woods at the end of a cul-de-sac in the quiet Durbin Crossing neighborhood.
Judge Smith gave a lengthy explanation Friday while announcing his decision in St. Johns County Court.
In a final point before handing down sentencing, Smith said it was particularly troubling that “this crime had no motive.”
“This was not done out of greed. It was not out of irrepressible anger, it was for no reason, it was no purpose, it was this defendant’s inner desire to feel what it was like to kill someone. There was no other reason than to meet the requirements,” Smith said. “This leads this court to the conclusion that he has only one proper sentence in this case.”
Uncut: Press play below to see Judge Smith’s full explanation of Fucci’s life sentence.
Smith also provided vivid details about Tristin’s “horrific death.” her 49 defense wounds It meant that “she is aware and is doing everything she can to fend off this attack.”
“Her screams were probably suffocated by her own suffocating lungs,” Smith said, adding that the use of the knife meant the murder was “up close, personal” and “shocking.” He then added:
He pointed to the increasing premeditated level of murder, referring to statements that Futch wanted to take someone into the woods, stab him, kill him, and then escape.
“He suggested he was going to kill someone. I don’t know at what point he decided he was going to be Tristin Bailey,” said Smith. “But there should have been casualties.”
Smith said he believes Futch has demonstrated an ability to correct his own behavior, but he also attaches great importance to the impact Tristin’s murder has had on both her family and community.
He said he had reviewed all of the more than 150 letters filed with the court on Tristin’s behalf.
“They all play similar chords. This was a devastating crime,” Smith said. “It was devastating for the children in this community. It practically changed the whole community.”
He called the incident the most difficult and shocking incident he had seen in the county in his 30 years of living and working in northeast Florida.
“This case is one of very few that have had this level of impact on the community,” he said.
But it was even more devastating for her family.
“There is no greater loss than losing a child of your own. The nature and circumstances of her death caused even greater trauma to those she loved,” Smith said. The extended family all provided compelling victim impact statements about their personal struggles to cope with her death.”
During a highly emotional day in court Wednesday, Tristin’s loved ones made it very clear that they never wanted Futch to be released.
Her sister, Alexis (pictured below), began the day by carefully dropping 114 heart-shaped light blue stones into an empty jar on the witness stand.
“One for every 114 stab wounds my sister has had to endure,” she said.
At the end of each testimony, Tristyn’s loved ones dropped a white heart-shaped stone onto the aquastone-filled jar. When they added the white stone, they shared what it represented to them – something Futch took from them when he killed Tristin.
Uncut: below[再生]Press to read the victim impact statement from Tristin Bailey’s brother.
Tristyn’s mother, Stacy, sued the judge on behalf of her youngest child and family.
“Aiden Futch made a heinous decision on May 9, 2021 that took the very life I brought into this world,” she said. “Don’t think for a moment that he can always be rehabilitated. He is beyond salvation.”
In the end, Smith agreed and sentenced Futch to life in prison.
Futch’s defense attorneys had asked Smith to be sentenced to 40 years in prison, but the prosecution wanted Futch to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Because Futch is a minor, he is not eligible for the death penalty, and the sentence will be restated after 25 years.
Related: ‘He’s hopeless’: Tristin Bailey’s family seeks maximum sentence for murderer at emotional hearing | | Closing Arguments in Aiden Fucci’s Trial; Judge Deciding Whether He Gets Life | | ‘I apologize for all the pain I’ve caused’: Aiden Futch, relatives write to judge, Tristin Bailey’s family | | After two days of cold and emotional testimony, what will happen to Aiden Fuch’s verdict? | | Aiden Futch case evokes memories of 1998 high-profile murder trial that shook Jacksonville community
The only family member who came to speak on Fuch’s behalf at the sentencing hearing was his grandmother. He apologized tearfully to the Bailey family in the gallery and asked the judge not to sentence him to life in prison. rice field.
“Please don’t take him out of our lives forever. I know there’s something good about Aiden,” she told the judge.
Smith admitted on Friday that her decision to testify for Futch “took a lot of courage.”
Futch’s mother, Crystal Smith, did not appear in court, instead writing to Judge Smith, asking for mercy and stating that “he is not beyond salvation.”
Futch also wrote a letter to the court saying, “I apologize for all the pain I have caused the Bailey family. I am sorry to my friends, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, and other family relatives. I’m sorry I didn’t know you for so long, and I’m sorry you didn’t have a long relationship with (Tristin).
In a letter, Crystal Smith explained that she had been advised by her attorney not to appear in court directly on behalf of Aiden. That’s probably because her own lawsuit is pending in St. John’s County Court — He was charged with falsifying evidence in his son’s case. Investigators said she washed the blood off her son’s blue jeans during the interrogation.
Crystal Smith’s lawsuit is scheduled for trial next month.
With that lawsuit still pending, Tristin’s family continued to speak out, even after being limited to a statement read aloud by her father, Forrest, on behalf of the family.
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https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/03/24/will-aiden-fucci-be-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-murder-of-tristyn-bailey/ Aiden Futch sentenced to life in prison for Tristin Bailey’s murder