Attorneys for Aiden Fucci, teen accused of killing 13-year-old classmate, now want change of venue

Fucci charged with 1st-degree murder in death of Tristyn Bailey

Aiden Fucci appears in court on Tuesday. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – Last week, attorneys for Aiden Fucci — the teenager accused of killing 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey in St. Johns County — filed a motion, asking for their client to be moved out of the Duval County jail.

Now — they’ve filed another motion, this time for a change of venue, saying their client cannot get a fair trial in the Seventh Judicial Circuit, which encompasses St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties, according to News 6 partner WJXT-TV. The attorneys also said an impartial jury can’t be found in any of the neighboring counties in the region.

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One reason they list is pretrial publicity. The attorneys want the trial moved to an alternate Florida county.

Fucci is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Bailey, his schoolmate. She was found stabbed to death on Mother’s Day last year in Durbin Crossing, less than a half-mile from Fucci’s home in the neighborhood where Bailey also lived. He was arrested in the early morning hours the next day.

From the time Bailey was reported missing, Fucci’s lawyers say, the community was involved in the search for her, when an Amber Alert was issued, to hearing local law enforcement name Fucci a suspect.

Prosecutors said they have charged 14-year-old Aiden Fucci as an adult on first-degree murder charges in the homicide of his 13-year-old schoolmate, Tristyn Bailey, after reviewing all of the evidence showing the young victim suffered a “horrific” attack before her death.

Fucci’s defense team says St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick’s words carry great weight with area residents.

The teenager’s lawyers also note the community’s involvement with “at least 9 separate memorials, several vigils, and various remembrances...” for Bailey, “...all with light blue or teal... decorations,” which were Bailey’s favorite color.

Throughout the community to this day, there arc teal ribbons in remembrance of I rc ribbons are on display at restaurants, businesses, mail boxes,

To this day, the court filing reads, “The ribbons are on display at restaurants, businesses, mailboxes, trees and backpacks of local children...” and that “ each court hearing, family and members of the community appear in the light blue or teal colored clothing.”

Fucci’s attorneys also point to State Attorney R. J. Larizza’s public statements about the case, as another reason to move the trial.

In the previous filing, defense attorneys say they want Fucci moved out of the Duval County jail, saying their client has been in a form of solitary confinement — alone in a cell for 24 hours a day.

Fucci has been in the Duval County jail pending his trial, because the jail in St. Johns County does not have a juvenile wing.

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Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.