(CNN) – A 14-year-old Florida teenager was charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the brutal stabbing of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, prosecutors said.
Aiden Fucci was initially charged with manslaughter in connection with Bailey’s death, but the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder due to the nature of the crime, RJ Larizza, state attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, announced Thursday.
Bailey’s body was found May 9 after his family reported him missing that same day in St. Johns County, Florida, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Bailey suffered 114 stab wounds, Larizza said at a news conference Thursday. Larizza noted that there were at least 49 defensive wounds to the head, hands and arms, and said: “To say it was horrible could be said to be an understatement.”
“The bottom line is that premeditation can certainly be inferred from the large number of stab wounds Tristyn Bailey had to endure,” said Larizza.
According to the prosecutor, witnesses told authorities that the 14-year-old suspect allegedly made statements that he intended to kill someone by taking him into the forest and stabbing him.
Additionally, Larizza indicated that the tip of the knife believed to have been used in the murder was also found on the victim’s scalp along with the suspect’s DNA on the victim’s body. A knife with a broken tip was found in a pond near Bailey’s body, Larizza said.
“I am not happy to charge a 14 year old as an adult with premeditated murder, but I can also tell you that the executive team and I reviewed all the facts, all the circumstances, the applicable law and it was not a difficult decision to make that it should be charged as an adult, “said Larizza.
Larizza declined to answer questions about Fucci’s alleged motive. It said the teens were seen walking together on surveillance video the day of Bailey’s disappearance, but there were no signs of trouble at the time.
“I hope the parents learn something from this brutal and cruel murder,” said Larizza. “And that is you need to know what your children are doing and what they are saying.”
CNN has reached out to Fucci’s parents but has received no response.
Fucci made his first court appearance Friday morning on the updated first-degree murder charge. A judge ordered that he must remain detained without bail until his appearance, according to WJXT, CNN affiliate.
CNN has also reached out to the St. Johns County public defender assigned to hear Fucci’s case, but has received no response.