Durbin Crossing, FL – The mother of a 14-year-old boy accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl by stabbing her 114 times has been charged with evidence tampering, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (SJCSO), home security footage showed 35-year-old Crystal Smith going into her son’s bedroom after he was arrested and picking up a pair of his jeans, WTLV reported.
Smith scrubbed her son’s pants and returned them to his bedroom, where they were later located by investigators, according to her arrest report.
The clothing and a drain in the house both tested positive for the presence of blood, the sheriff’s office said.
Smith turned herself in to the SJCSO on Saturday on a charge of tampering with evidence, WTLV reported.
She was released on a $25,000 bond less than two hours later.
Tristyn Bailey, 13, was found dead on May 9 after her parents contacted police to report her as missing, People reported.
According to State Attorney R.J. Larizza, Bailey had been stabbed 114 times, to include 49 defensive wounds to her head, arms, and hands.
The medical examiner located the broken point of a knife lodged in the dead teen’s skull, WTLV reported.
When police questioned Smith’s son, 14-year-old Aiden Fucci, about Bailey’s murder, he claimed he had gotten into a fight with her and that he shoved her to the ground, according to investigators.
Fucci allegedly told police Bailey hit her head.
Investigators later recovered the suspected murder weapon from a retention pond near Fucci’s residence and seized bloody clothing from his home, WTLV reported.
Bailey was killed with a hunting knife, according to People.
The SJCSO said video footage confirmed Fucci was wearing a pair of blue jeans on the night of May 8 and the early morning hours of May 9, WKMG reported.
Smith allegedly retrieved the pants when Fucci left the house with investigators on May 9 to show them where he and Bailey were last together.
Investigators said Smith and a witness were seen in the video “inspecting the jeans several times” before she returned them to her son’s bedroom, WKMG reported.
When Fucci was alone in an interview room at the sheriff’s office with his parents, they allegedly “asked him about anything that would be on his clothes” from when he was out with Bailey, according to deputies.
The teen allegedly told his parents he was wearing jeans, at which point Smith asked him if he was sure nothing was on them, WKMG reported.
“I think so, why?” Fucci allegedly asked, according to deputies.
Investigators said his mother gave him a “questioning” look before whispering, “blood,” WKMG reported.
Fucci was charged with second-degree murder as a juvenile, but the case was bumped into adult court on May 27, when a grand jury indicted him for first-degree premeditated murder, WTLV reported.
He faces up to life in prison if he is convicted.
Fucci pleaded not guilty to the charge on June 3, according to People.
He is currently being housed in an undisclosed adult lockup facility, where he is segregated from the adult inmates.
St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick praised his front-line investigators on Saturday for their unwavering devotion to the investigation into Bailey’s brutal murder, WTLV reported.
“I remain incredibly proud of the men and women of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office for their continued thoroughness in this investigation,” Sheriff Hardwick said. “Crystal Smith will be held responsible for her role in this case and justice will be served for Tristyn Bailey and her family.”