Late Friday afternoon, local Historic City News reporters learned that, during a hearing before the Honorable Lee Smith at the St Johns County courthouse in St Augustine, 37-year-old defendant Crystal Lane Smith, the mother of Aiden Fucci, pled guilty to tampering with evidence in the murder of Tristyn Bailey.
Smith was caught on home surveillance footage as she washed the blood out of her son’s jeans, only hours after he fatally stabbed Bailey. Fucci pled guilty to first-degree murder in February and was sentenced to life in prison the following month for the May 2021 murder. Tristyn Bailey was 13 years old.
“Parents should always strive to teach their children integrity, honesty and responsibility,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said of the case. “What the defendant did was not protecting her child – she was assisting him in avoiding responsibility for an extraordinarily vicious and merciless crime. And that is a crime in more ways than one.”
Crystal Lane Smith was sentenced to 30 days in the St Johns County Jail followed by five years of probation for the third-degree felony. The defendant may apply for early termination after serving three years of her probation, Larizza added. Fucci is currently serving his life sentence.
The case was investigated by the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Dunton successfully prosecuted the case. The Honorable Circuit Judge Lee Smith presided over the case and pronounced the sentence.