Emotional testimony in Wayland murder trial
WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) -- The mother of Lauren Astley, who was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend, broke down when she heard some of the evidence revealed in court on Wednesday.
Police say Nathanial Fujita, 20, strangled and stabbed 18-year-old Astley and then dumped her body in a Wayland marsh in July 2011. Prosecutors say Fujita killed Astley after she broke up with him a few months earlier.
In court Wednesday, Astley’s friend, Ariel Chates, testified that she saw her the day she disappeared.
“It was happy. She was her normal perky self,” said Chates.
She said she called Astley later that night. When no answered, she said she called Fujita.
“I said, ‘Hi Nate, I know that this is a bit of a long shot, but I was wondering if you had heard or seen Lauren’ and he said, ‘No this is the last place she’d ever be,’” said Chates.
Chates added, “I said, ‘Nate, I just haven’t seen you in a while I was just wondering how you were doing’ and he said ‘I was actually just in the middle of watching a movie and you interrupted me, so I have to go.’ I said, ‘Okay, I’m sorry. Bye.’”
Fujita wept in court. His mother sobbed with her head down as the medical examiner, who identified the bungee cord allegedly used to strangle Astley. The medical examiner also described a 4.5-inch gaping wound across Astley’s neck.
“It extends from the left side near the angle of the jaw down over the front of the neck to the lower part of the right side,” said state chief medical examiner Dr. Henry Nields.
Fujita’s attorney said he should not be held criminally responsible for Astley’s death because Fujita suffered from a major depressive disorder which caused a psychotic event.