Mother of Teen Sentenced to Life in Prison for Stabbing Death of Classmate Pleads No Contest to Tampering With Evidence

The mother of a Florida teen sentenced to life in prison in March for the brutal murder of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey pleaded no contest to tampering with evidence on Friday and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Crystal Smith, 38, was seen on surveillance video washing Aiden Fucci’s bloody jeans after he stabbed Bailey 114 times on May 10, 2021. She also appeared to coach Fucci to lie during a police interview.

Smith was also given five years probation by the judge on Friday, WJXT reported.

Stacy Bailey, Tristyn Bailey’s mother, spoke at the hearing, saying she hoped Smith used the time to reflect what what happened.

“I have tried to put myself in your shoes on that fateful day a thousand times, but I can’t,” Bailey said, reading from a prepared statement. “I can never get there because, you see, I could never put someone else’s child in harm’s way for my own, no matter the consequences.”

“The choices that you made on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021, will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Smith, who wept as Bailey spoke, did not speak at the hearing, but her attorney issued an apology.

“She apologizes for any additional suffering her conduct caused the Bailey family,” the attorney said before Smith was handcuffed, fingerprinted, and taken to spend her first weekend — Mother’s Day weekend — in the St. Johns County Jail.

Fucci, now 16, pleaded guilty on the day his trial was to begin in February, as CrimeOnline reported. After a two-day sentencing hearing in March that included emotional victim impact statements from Bailey’s family, Judge R. Lee Smith sentenced the teen to life. His sentence will be eligible for review in 25 years.

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[Featured image: Crystal Smith/Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Tristyn Bailey/handout, Aiden Fucci/pool]