On Feb. 13, 2013, a year-and-a-half after Lauren Astley’s murder, her ex-boyfriend Nathaniel Fujita’s trial started.
“there is two differing people,” buddy Genevieve Flynn stated. “there is, like, the Nate which was in senior high school with us, who had been, like, during my homeroom, that would joke around beside me, who was simply in the track group beside me. There is that Nate. Then there’s, like, the Nate who we have actually just actually observed in handcuffs as well as in a court room.”
Expected just exactly how he looked in court, buddy Hannah Blahut told Smith, “He mostly kept his face down. As soon as he looked up, he seemed simply not like most Nate that we’d ever known.”
Prosecutor Lisa McGovern wastes no amount of time in spelling down why Lauren had been murdered.
“This defendant is responsible just as charged,” McGovern addressed the court inside her opening declaration.
“Nathaniel Fujita had been hurt by Lauren Astley maybe perhaps perhaps not finding its way back to him in which he killed her,” McGovern told “48 Hours”
Defense lawyer William Sullivan, in their opening declaration, admits Nathaniel killed Lauren.
“In many murder situations, the real question is whom? Whom made it happen? That isn’t this case,” the told the court. “This case there’s– there is gonna be two concerns, why and exactly how. “
“so how exactly does a son . there is no actual proof of him ever laying a hand with this girl that is young . so how exactly does he take action such as this?” Sullivan remarked to Tracy Smith. “we told the jury, ‘you’re gonna notice and view some really distressing facts.'”
“. she passed away as a consequence of the blend for the strangulation additionally the wounds that are incised . to her throat,” health Examiner Henry Nields testified.
Nields stated after Lauren had been strangled by having a bungee cable, she then suffered a true range superficial wounds to her throat before her neck ended up being cut.
“Why these trivial, superficial wounds? He did that to harm her,” McGovern told “48 Hours”. “Why did he deliver the gaping, deep injury? He did that to kill her.”
The prosecution questioned Genevieve Flynn and Lauren’s other buddies about June 2011 — the month between senior school graduation and Lauren’s murder.
“we saw Lauren select up her arms and push them down her part as if she had been saying, simply steer clear of me personally,” Hannah testified.
Hannah Blahut testified about this graduation celebration where Nathaniel punched a pole keeping within the celebration tent.
“Nate got mad that Lauren was not conversing with him,” close friend Chloe Jacques told “48 Hours”. “He was being aggressive because he had been really drunk.”
McGovern thinks Nathaniel’s display of rage had been a prelude that is ominous killing Lauren.
“this can be a domestic physical violence murder. This is perpetrated because of this relationship click, that has been a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship,” McGovern told “48 Hours.”
“The prosecution is painting this as a domestic violence-dating violence case,” Smith noted to Sullivan. “Proper,” he responded.
However the protection disagrees.
“Nathaniel . did not stalk her. Did not drive by her household. Was not calling her. Was not texting her. And none of this ended up being present,” Sullivan told Smith.
The jury is wanted by the defense to spotlight Nathaniel’s behavior after graduation prior to Lauren’s murder:
Bill Sullivan: through that right time those three days, be reasonable to express you did not look at defendant after all.
R.J. Bolivar: I do not think therefore.
“their buddies have been saying they don’t would you like to go out with him any longer because he’d been acting differently,” Chloe told “48 Hours”.
Bill Sullivan: he is not getting together with you dudes anymore, right?
Connor Murphy: Appropriate.
Friends Connor and R.J. testify Nathaniel had dropped from their social group.
Bill Sullivan: could it be reasonable to state that individuals were commenting that Nathaniel was not around?
R.J. Bolivar: some social individuals were, yeah.