Crystal Smith, the mother of Aiden Fucci, a teenage boy convicted of murdering his 13-year-old classmate, Tristyn Bailey, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation after pleading no contest to charges of tampering with evidence.
Smith changed her plea from “not guilty” to “no contest” as part of a plea agreement. Aiden Fucci was sentenced to life in prison on March 24, 2023, after pleading guilty in February for the murder of Bailey.
Bailey’s corpse was found on May 9, 2021, in a remote wooded area by a pond near Durbin Crossing. Police had arrested Fucci on the same day after determining that he was a suspect behind Bailey’s disappearance and murder.
An arrest warrant was issued against Smith by St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, noting that surveillance footage obtained from Smith’s home suggested that she may have tampered with evidence linking her son to Bailey’s murder.
According to the warrant CNN, Smith had taken a pair of jeans that her son had been wearing and washed them over the sink in the bathroom after the police had finished speaking with Fucci and had taken him with them.
Surveillance footage showed that a witness had entered the home and was seen examining the pants with Smith. The inspections occurred multiple times until Smith took the pair of jeans back to Fucci’s room.
A video filmed in an interrogation room at the sheriff’s office showed Smith and Fucci’s father telling him to “find his story and stick with it.”
Smith also appeared to be advising Fucci to tell officers he was wearing khakis and not his allegedly bloodied pair of jeans on the night of the murder. Smith was also heard whispering the word “blood” to her son to inform him that his pair of jeans were stained.
Police later approached the woman seen in the surveillance footage examining the pants with Smith. After speaking with her, officers found the damp jeans in Fucci’s room while carrying out a search warrant.
The jeans tested positive for the presence of blood, as did the drain of the bathroom sink. During the Friday sentencing, Stacy Bailey, Tristyn Bailey’s mother, gave a victim impact statement, according to reporting from WTLV-TV.
“What would I say to the woman who broke the law and caused so much pain to my family? Would my words be ignored, or would they carry weight? Would you truly hear me and understand how your actions have devastated not only my family, [but] our kids, classmates, our family, friends, our community, and the people across the world,” she said.
Smith’s lawyer, Matt Kachergus, said, “Ms. Smith hopes that everyone involved can now begin to heal from this tragedy. No one, with the exception of one person, knew what had happened to Tristyn. Certainly, Ms. Smith did not know what had occurred. She was a frantic mother trying to determine what was going on with her son. Only later, when she made aware of the horrible crime that had been committed.”