Wayland man's murder trial begins
WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) -- There was chilling testimony in the first day of 20-year-old Nathanial Fujita’s murder trial.
Fujita pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the July 2011 death of his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Astley. Both were 18 at the time and had just graduated from Wayland High School.
Prosecutors say Fujita was so humiliated Astley broke up with him he wanted to inflict pain and he wanted to end her life.
“This defendant was upset and humiliated when she declined to get back together with him,” said prosecutor Lisa McGovern.
Prosecutors said Astley was lured into Fujita’s parents’ garage where he strangled her with a bungee cord before stabbing her.
“This defendant arms himself with a ligature, a cord, in this case a bungee cord, and uses it on Lauren Astley and strangles her. Not to death, but to the point where it leaves a furrow across her neck and other injuries,” said McGovern. “And then he arms himself with a second weapon, a sharp-force instrument.”
Astley’s body was discovered by a bird watcher the next day, July 4, 2011, in a marsh in Wayland. Fujita was arrested at his home, blood-stained clothing was found in a crawl space above his bedroom.
Fujita’s attorney said he suffered a psychotic episode and shouldn’t be held criminally responsible for Astley’s death.
“At the time of this killing, July 3, was suffering from what’s known as a major depressive disorder and that that major depressive disorder caused what’s called a single episode of a brief psychotic disorder,” said defense attorney William Sullivan.
“He was acting outside of his body,” Sullivan added.
Testimony will continue on Thursday morning. There is no word if Fujita will take the stand in his own defense.
The trial is expected to last about three weeks.