Accused Wayland teen killer held without bail
WOBURN, Mass. -- A Wayland teenager accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and dumping her body in a marshy area of town has been ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to murder and assault charges.
Nathaniel Fujita, 18, was arraigned Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, more than seven weeks after he was arrested for allegedly killing 18-year-old Lauren Astley.
“Our hearts are with the many who continue to feel the shock and pain of the tragedy and to understand it as best we can,” said Dr. Malcolm Astley, Lauren’s father.
Prosecutors say the 18-year-old Fujita strangled and sliced Astley's neck on July 3. Both graduated from high school in June. They had dated for several years but had recently split.
New details were revealed on how defendant Fujita’s mother had asked Lauren to reach out to Fujita, who was not doing well after the two broke up.
“In an act of friendship, your honor, Lauren Astley reached out to this defendant,” said Lisa McGovern, the prosecutor. “But this defendant reciprocated that act of friendship by killing her.”
Fujita’s parents clung to each other during the emotional proceedings that included descriptions on how their son allegedly killed and then dumped her body in a marsh. Astley was last seen at work on July 3. Her body was found by a cyclist several miles from her car. Authorities say evidence of the slaying was found in Fujita's home.
“He’s obviously, he’s struggling. This is…I think the enormity of is really hitting him,” said defense attorney William Sullivan.
So are his own words, according to the prosecution, who said after the murder Fujita asked a cousin to come hang out with him at the house. Days later he allegedly explained why.
Lauren’s family said Fujita’s arraignment is the next sad and significant step in the terrifying case.
Fujita is being held without bail after pleading not guilty at his district court arraignment.
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