WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A relative says a young Massachusetts man on trial for the July 3, 2011, killing of his high school girlfriend had been depressed but seemed happy at a family barbecue earlier that evening.
Nathaniel Fujita (foo-JEE'-tuh) cried and wiped his eyes when his uncle, Philip Saba, testified Thursday in Fujita’s murder trial.
Prosecutors say Fujita beat, strangled and stabbed Lauren Astley in anger over a romantic breakup a few months earlier. The Wayland teens were 18 and headed for college that fall.
Fujita’s lawyer says he was deeply depressed and temporarily psychotic.
Saba said he and his nephew talked about the youth’s plans to play football and he complimented Fujita on gaining weight.
Prosecutors say Fujita killed Astley about an hour after he left the barbecue and later hid her body in a marsh.