(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Woburn, Mass.) – It was an emotional morning in court at the trial of Nathanial Fujita.
He's the Wayland, Mass. man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend at the age of 18.
The defense is claiming Fujita was criminally insane at the time; 18-year- old Lauren Astley was about to attend Elon University in North Carolina.
“She had lots of close friends who loved her company. She had many interests. She had much to look forward to,” said assistant district attorney Lisa McGovern.
Her ex-boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, was scheduled to play football at Trinity College.
“He was on top of the world. He had everything going for him,” said defense lawyer William Sullivan.
But, on July 3, 2011, that all changed. After two break ups and a series of texts, Astley was killed, and Fujita was charged with her murder.
During opening statements, the prosecution said Fujita purposely strangled Astley, slashed her throat and left multiple cuts and bruises on her body.
“Every single one of those were inflicted when Lauren Astley was alive.”
ADA McGovern said it took minutes, not seconds for Astley to die, but the defense says this is not Fujita’s fault. They don’t dispute that he killed her, but they say he was insane when he did it.
“He felt at that point that he was acting outside of his body. He was disassociated, he wasn’t able to control or know what he did… as a result of that this horrific crime occurred,” Sullivan said.
Astley’s mother had to wipe away tears as she listened to the rough account of her daughter’s death. Fujita’s parents sat there stoically as they watched their son face his allegations.
Now, if he's convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.