Aiden Fucci's lawyers want different venue for murder trial

Aiden Fucci’s lawyers argue that he cannot get a fair trial due to “ubiquitous pretrial publicity”.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Lawyers for the teen accused of stabbing 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey in St. Johns County over a hundred times are for a change of venue for the trial.

On a motion filed Nov. 23, Aiden Fucci’s lawyers argue that he cannot get a fair trial in the Seventh Judicial Circuit due to “ubiquitous pretrial publicity” and “community hostility” concerning this case.

Last week, the St. Johns County Sheriff has expressed his objection to the latest motion filed by Fucci’s team. Fucci expressed he was enduring “ongoing torture” at the Duval County Jail and asked to be moved to a different facility or a less restrictive setting. 

The sheriff and the Department of Corrections are charged with controlling where inmates are placed, according to Sheriff Robert Hardwick’s Wednesday filing. 

Fucci’s attorney filed a motion on Nov. 18 which states he has been held in solitary confinement for much of his time at the jail due to threats of violence, previous disciplinary action and suicidal ideations. The threats made against him were not explained in the document. The motion calls solitary “a form of cruel and unusual punishment,” which “will result in psychological harm.” 

Fucci’s attorney also claims he has been kept in solitary confinement “for over 400 days of pretrial detention; with three exceptions where he was in general population for a total of 129 days that ended on May 16, 2022.” 

Sheriff Hardwick filed an objection to the motion for a pretrial transfer. The objection argues “when inmates enter a jail, they leave some of their rights at the door”. 

Fucci was 14 when he was arrested in May 2021 after Tristyn Bailey’s body was discovered hours after she was reported missing by her family. She was stabbed 114 times. He is being tried as an adult. 

Fucci’s mother, Crystal Smith, is also charged in connection with the crime. Prosecutors claim she tampered with evidence when she allegedly tried to wash blood off his jeans.

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