Families attend pre-trial hearing for Wayland slaying
WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) -- The families of a murdered Wayland teenager and her accused killer were in court for a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday.
Nathaniel Fujita, 19, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Astley, last summer.
Fujita did not appear in court on Tuesday because his attorney said it was only about legal technicalities and possible evidence.
“It’s like bobbing in the ocean I go down very deeply at times and then I come back up,” said Malcolm Astley, the victim’s father.
Malcolm Astley described his emotions since his 18-year-old daughter, Lauren Astley, was murdered last July, and why he felt compelled to attend Tuesday’s pre-trial hearing.
“It’s a way of staying in touch with my daughter and I don’t want to hear second-hand information and I want deeply to understand as much as I can of this kind of situation,” Malcolm Astley said.
Lauren Astley’s former boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita of Wayland, is accused of murdering her just a few months after police say she ended their relationship.
Authorities say her body was found by a bicyclist in a marshy area off of Route 27 in Wayland.
The suspect’s parents also attended the hearing; internationally known jazz guitarist and Berklee College faculty member Tomo Fujita, and his wife, Beth.
“He’s holding up I think as best as can be expected at this point,” said William Sullivan, suspect’s attorney. “At this point in the case, it’s still just kind of a lot of unknowns.”
During the hearing, attorneys discussed what evidence they will be looking at, including cell phone and computer records of the victim and the suspect.
“At this point we want to get as much information as we can to find out really what happened and why things happen,” Sullivan said.
Malcolm Astley continues to mourn the loss of his daughter and speaks out on violence against women.
“One of the things we need to do is engage other men in being aware of it and entering into the movement to build awareness and prevent this apparent kind of violence,” Malcolm Astley.
The murder trial is set for October.