WAYLAND (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The cousin of a Wayland man accused of murdering his high school sweetheart took the stand on Friday.
Nathaniel Fujita and Lauren Astley dated during the majority of their time at Wayland High School, but Astley broke things off in the spring of their senior year. The weekend before she was murdered, Astley went on a date with someone else.
Fujita's lawyer appears to be mounting an insanity defense, claiming his client was depressed over the break-up and didn't know what he was doing.
Fujita's cousin, Caroline Saba, testified that she was with 20-year-old Nathan Fujita around the time Lauren Astley's body was discovered and when police searched his home. She also gained access to some of Nathan's text messages in the weeks before Lauren's murder.
Saba said on June 27, 2011, just days before the murder, she read text messages between Astley and Fujita that revealed the worsening relationship between the two. She also said Fujita was at her home as police searched his home. At this point, she said she suspected Fujita killed Lauren and she asked a direct question.
"I asked him if they were going to find anything at the house that was going to connect him to Lauren Astley's death," said Saba.
"And what did he tell you?" the prosecutor asked.
"He said 'they are not going to find a weapon there, if that's what you mean,'" Saba responded.
Prosecutors allege Fujita lured Astley to his home, beat her, strangled her, and slit her throat. The teen's body was discovered in a marsh in Wayland. Saba claims she asked Fujita how Lauren's car got to that area. She testified that Fujita said, "It was me."
Testimony is scheduled to resume on Monday.
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