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When he learned about his classmate’s death, the 14-year-old boy now accused of stabbing Florida cheerleader Tristyn Bailey more than 100 times offered a seemingly indifferent response, officials said.
“How is that my problem?” he allegedly asked, according to documents released Wednesday by 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza’s office.
That reply to news of Bailey’s death came, authorities said, after the suspect was placed in a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office interrogation room, NBC affiliate WTLV of Jacksonville reported. During an interview, the teen said he kissed Bailey, according to the news station, citing the documents. When she reacted by grabbing him, he told investigators that he pushed her. He allegedly said he walked away after Bailey fell and hit her head.
The documents also stated detectives found bloody clothes, sneakers and a notebook filled with “drawings of a violent nature” in the boy’s bedroom, WTLV reported. Among the disturbing illustrations were a satanic symbol and a nude woman with red X’s over her breasts and genitals. The drawings appeared to show blood oozing out of several wounds.
The teen suspect, who NBC News is not naming because he is a minor, was arrested May 10, one day after Bailey was found dead in May in a wooded area of St. Johns, a suburb of Jacksonville, according to the sheriff’s office.
Authorities said she suffered 114 stab wounds, 49 of which appeared to have been defensive wounds to her hands, arms and head as she tried to fight off her attacker. A knife, believed to be the suspect’s, was found in a pond near Bailey’s body, officials said. The tip of that blade was “broken off” and found lodged in her scalp.
The word “KARMA” was also handwritten in blue ink inside Bailey’s left ankle and a “smiley face” was drawn inside her right ankle, WTLV reported, citing a medical examiner’s findings. The report does not state who put the writing on her body.
The suspect was initially booked on a charge of second-degree murder, but Larizza announced in late May that the teen would be tried as an adult, describing the murder as “horrific.”
“It brings me no pleasure to be charging a 14-year-old as an adult with first-degree murder,” he said at the time. “But I can tell you also 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 he should be charged as an adult.”
The teen has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The boy’s mother, 35-year-old Crystal Smith, surrendered to police in early June on a charge of evidence tampering in St. Johns County and was released on $25,000 bail, according to the sheriff’s office. She also pleaded not guilty to the charge against her.
A surveillance camera inside Smith’s home showed her washing a pair of her son’s jeans that later tested positive for blood, according to an arrest warrant. Traces of blood were also found in a sink drain, the warrant said. Evidence tampering is a third-degree felony in Florida.
Before his arrest, the suspect posted a photo to Snapchat flashing a peace sign in the back of a police car with the caption, “Hey guys has inybody seen Tristyn lately.” He took the selfie when he was only considered a witness and Bailey was still missing.
Authorities added the suspect had told friends that “he intended to kill someone” by taking them to the woods and stabbing them.
The boy is expected to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on July 28, according to WLTV.
His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
Wilson Wong is a breaking news reporter with NBC News.
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Teen accused of stabbing girl 114 times allegedly asked how her death was his 'problem' – NBC News