This morning, following a two-day hearing, local Historic City News reporters learned that 16-year-old Aiden Sean Fucci was sentenced to life in prison by Circuit Court Judge R. Lee Smith after Fucci pled guilty as an adult charged with the first-degree murder of his classmate, Tristyn Bailey.
Bailey, a 13-year-old cheerleader at Patriot Oaks Academy, was last seen alive on May 9, 2021 in a surveillance video. She was walking with her classmate, Aiden Fucci, who was then only 14 years old. When she did not return home, her family began a search that ended in the grisly discovery of the teenage girl. Tristyn was found dead with 114 stab wounds and a piece of the knife chipped off in her skull.
“The Bailey Family has suffered tremendously for the last 22 months while experiencing our criminal justice process – a process that is not victim and family-friendly,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said of the case. “I am grateful for the life sentence handed down today, and I truly believe that had Fucci avoided arrest and prosecution, he would have killed again.”
According to Larizza, Fucci made an “open plea” to the court in February immediately before jury selection was set to begin. No plea offer was extended by the Seventh Circuit State Attorney’s Office. However, as a juvenile offender, his sentence will be up for review in 25 years.
Commenting at the press conference following this morning’s sentencing, Forest Bailey, Tristyn’s father, spoke for the family. Larizza later said that our system focuses on the defendant in criminal trials — many times at the expense of the victim and their family. He asked the audience gathered to keep the Bailey Family in their thoughts and prayers.