DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Prosecutors are still weighing whether to charge 14-year-old Aiden Fucci as an adult in the death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey. Fucci is facing a second-degree murder charge.
Meantime, more than 220,000 people as of Thursday afternoon had signed change.org petitions, asking the State Attorney’s Office and Gov. Ron DeSantis to charge Fucci as an adult and with first-degree murder, according to News 6 partners WJXT.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said Bailey’s body was found in a wooded area in her Durbin Crossing neighborhood Sunday hours after her family reported her missing. An autopsy determined she was stabbed to death.
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Fucci remains in a state-run juvenile detention facility in Volusia County where he is held without bond.
The Department of Juvenile Justice center in Daytona Beach can hold up to 50 juveniles as they await trial. Fucci has access to education, physical activity and health care -- both physical and mental. DJJ officials, however, would not comment about specifics with his case, citing privacy laws.
The judge has ordered that Fucci stay behind bars at the DJJ’s Volusia County facility for at least the next 21 days as prosecutors look at the case.
Prosecutors with the 7th Judicial Circuit Office of State Attorney, which has its headquarters in Daytona Beach, said Thursday that they were still reviewing the case details.
“They will make that decision based upon talking with the family, obtaining all the evidence from the Sheriff’s Office and the investigation,” said attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with the case. “You can expect that the state will most likely prosecute this young man as an adult based on everything that we’ve learned thus far.”
Another big decision, Nichols said, is if he’ll face a more serious first-degree or premediated murder charge. The detectives’ reports, witness interviews and the autopsy will be part of that call.
“If the decision is made on first-degree murder, they will present all of the evidence to the grand jury and allow the grand jury to come back with an indictment for first-degree murder,” Nichols noted.
Nichols said while the change.org petitions show a large amount of community support, they have no legal influence over the case and no bearing on the State Attorney’s Office’s decision.
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News4Jax has chosen not to include links to the petitions as they contain unverified information about the case.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office said Thursday they would not be releasing new information publicly as they didn’t want it to affect the case.
Sheriff Rob Hardwick said his team was continuing to track down “hundreds and hundreds of leads” and would leave no stone unturned.