• Fujita trial: Coworkers recall confrontation before brutal murder


    (MyFoxBoston.com) – The murder trial of Nathanial Fujita continued Thursday morning with a statement from the victim's coworkers recalling the days before her death.

    Fujita is accused of killing 18-year-old Lauren Astley in 2011. Fujita and Astley dated all through high school; however, the victim broke things off at the end of their senior year at Wayland High School

    Fujita, now 20-years-old, is accused of luring Astley to his garage, choking and stabbing her to death and dumping her body in a wooded marsh in Wayland.

    Prosecutors called the killing calculated and cruel.

    Prior to the murder, which took place on July 3, Astley worked a shift at the 344 Boutique in the Natick Mall. Her coworkers said in court on Thursday that they recalled seeing Fujita's mother having a serious conversation with Astley at the store, just weeks or days before the murder.

    "It seemed to be a bit of a serious conversation. Lauren was generally a person that was spunky. She was always laughing and in a good mood. In this conversation, she had her arms crossed and was leaning against the wall. And Beth seemed to be speaking to her almost earnestly. The way she looked, she was standing. It seemed to be a serious conversation. She looked a little upset from what I could see," Meaghen Reineke, the store's assistant manager, said.

    The jury will be taken on a view of the locations in the case on Friday. Testimony resumes on Tuesday.

    It appears Fujita may be mounting an insanity defense.

    Fujita is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of assault and battery. If convicted he faces life in prison.

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