Emotional day in court in Mass. teen murder trial

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February 20, 2013, 6:09 pm
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(NECN: Ally Donnelly, Woburn, Mass.) - Genevieve Flynn was overwhelmed remembering that girls' night in July 2011 - a sleepover - with her best friend Lauren Astley.

"I'm sorry," she sobbed in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa McGovern asked, "Was that the last time that you saw Lauren Astley?"  

"Yes," Flynn choked out, struggling for composure.

Astley’s former boyfriend, 20-year-old Nate Fujita, is on trial and charged with Astley's murder. He's accused of luring the 18-year-old Wayland woman to his house, strangling her and slashing her throat. Her body was found dumped in a marsh on the Fourth of July.

Prosecutors argue that Fujita was humiliated after Astley had broken up with him twice in their last months of high school. And killed her when she refused to get back together over the summer. The prosecution called three of Astley's friends to the stand who were also friends with Fujita, all part of a tight-knit group.

McGovern called former Wayland High senior Ronald Bolivar to the stand.

"Was he an intovert?" She asked about Fujita. "An extrovert?"

Bolivar answered, "He was outgoing with us. We were comfortable with each other."

Fujita looked down during most of the testimony, getting emotional only when Bolivar, his former track and football teammate, testified. Bolivar refused to look at his former friend.

Defense Attorney William Sullivan is claiming an insanity defense, arguing that Fujita suffered a psychotic break when he killed Astley. Toward the end of the day, Sullivan asked Bolivar if he remembered that Fujita may have suffered head trauma when they played football together in his early high school years.

"In fact he was hospitalized for that hit, wasn't he?" Sullivan asked.

"Yes," Bolivar answered.

Prosecutor Lisa McGovern cross-examined quickly asking Bolivar how aggressive Fujita was on the field.

Bolivar said, "He was never a heavy hitter. He didn't like contact."

"His job as a safety was sometimes to go and hit somebody ... like that," Sullivan countered, smacking his fist into his palm.

"Yeah." Bolivar admitted.

McGovern asked, "How would you characterize the frequency you saw of him engaged in receiving hits?"

"I'd say it was less frequent," Bolivar said.

Testimony resumes Thursday with a Wayland Police detective. The jury is expected to begin deliberations early next month.

Tags: massachusetts, Middlesex Superior Court, Ally Donnelly, Woburn, Lauren Astley , Nathaniel Fujita , Lisa McGovern, William Sullivan
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