WOBURN (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The medical examiner took the stand at Nathaniel Fujita's murder trial on Wednesday to describe all of the injuries inflicted to Lauren Astley.
During much of the medical examiner's testimony, Fujita sat with his head in his hands. At some points, he appeared to be crying.
Dr. Henry Nields, the chief medical examiner, described a ligature furrow across Astley's neck. This evidence suggests the bungee cord, found entangled in Astley's hair, was used as a ligature to strangle the teen.
The examiner says, however, that Astley was not strangled to death. There was also a gaping wound across the teen's neck that the examiner says was caused by the repeated slicing motion of a knife. Astley was also beaten, there were bruises on her arms and a bruise to the back of her head.
Dr. Nields testified that he believes Lauren was strangled first and then her throat was slashed while she was still alive. He believes her death was not instant.
"It's not possible to be 100-percent certain, but it's my opinion it would have been a matter of minutes," said Dr. Nields.
Fujita is accused of murdering Astley at his home on July 3, 2011 and then dumping her body in a swamp. Astley and Fujita were high school sweethearts, but in the weeks before the murder, Astley ended their relationship.
Nathaniel's mother, Beth Fujita, was overcome with emotion at the end of Wednesday's session. She could not leave the court room on her own power.
The trial is winding down. On Thursday, the medical examiner will be cross examined. Astley's mother, who has been in court everyday, is then expected to take the stand.
The jury is expected to get the case next week.
© 2017 Cox Media Group.
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