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Crystal Smith Scrubbed Son's Bloodstained Jeans: Cops

Mother of the teen charged with murdering Tristyn Bailey is now herself charged
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2021 2:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – The mother of the 14-year-old Florida boy accused of stabbing his 13-year-old classmate, Tristyn Bailey, to death last month has now herself been charged in the case. Police say 35-year-old Crystal Smith scrubbed her son's bloody jeans after authorities questioned the teen at their home on May 9. Tristyn had been reported missing around 10am that day, and her body, riddled with 114 stab wounds, was found eight hours later, News4Jax reports. After the teen suspect left with deputies, police say home surveillance video captured Smith going into his bedroom, removing a pair of jeans, and taking them to the sink to scrub before putting them back in the bedroom, where police ultimately found them, still damp. Both the pants and the sink drain later tested positive for blood, CNN reports.

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Later, while the suspect was being questioned at the sheriff's office, the arrest warrant states that "(Smith) asked (her son) if he was sure there was nothing on (his clothes), (her son) responded 'I think so, why?' (Smith) could be observed giving (her son) a questioning look and whispered 'Blood.'" Smith is charged with evidence tampering, a felony. She turned herself in Saturday, First Coast News reports, and was released on $25,000 bond shortly after being booked into jail. Her son has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and remains behind bars without bail, the Florida Times-Union reports. He faces life in prison, and has pleaded not guilty. "Crystal Smith will be held responsible for her role in this case and justice will be served for Tristyn Bailey and her family," the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says in a statement. (Read more Florida stories.)

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