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 each person,” buddy Genevieve Flynn said. “there is, like, the Nate which was in senior high school with us, who was simply, like, during my homeroom, that would joke around beside me, who had been in the track group beside me. There is that Nate. Then there is, like, the Nate whom we have actually just actually noticed in handcuffs as well as in a court space.”
Expected exactly how he seemed in court, buddy Hannah Blahut told Smith, “He mostly kept his face down. As soon as he looked up, he seemed not like most Nate that I would ever known.”
Prosecutor Lisa McGovern wastes no amount of time in spelling down why Lauren ended up being murdered.
“This defendant is responsible just as charged,” McGovern addressed the court in her own opening declaration.
“Nathaniel Fujita had been harmed by Lauren Astley perhaps perhaps not finding its way back to him in which he killed her,” McGovern told “48 Hours”
Defense lawyer William Sullivan, inside the opening declaration, admits Nathaniel killed Lauren.
“In many murder instances, the real question is whom? Who achieved it? That isn’t this full instance,” the told the court. “This case there’s– there is gonna be two concerns, why and exactly how. “
“so how exactly does a man that is young . there is not any proof of him ever laying a little finger with this girl that is young . how can he make a move such as this?” Sullivan remarked to Tracy Smith. “we told the jury, ‘you’re gonna notice and find out some extremely unsettling facts.'”
“. she passed away because of the blend of this strangulation plus the wounds that are incised . to her throat,” health Examiner Henry Nields testified.
Nields stated after Lauren ended up being strangled with a bungee cable, she then suffered quantity of shallow wounds to her neck 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 provide the gaping, deep injury? He did that to destroy her.”
The prosecution questioned Genevieve Flynn and Lauren’s other buddies about 2011 — the month between high school graduation and Lauren’s murder june.
“we saw Lauren select her hands up and push them down her part as if she ended up being saying, simply steer clear of me personally,” Hannah testified.
Hannah Blahut testified about that graduation party where Nathaniel punched a pole keeping up the ongoing celebration tent.
“Nate got aggravated that Lauren was not conversing with him,” close friend Chloe Jacques told “48 Hours”. “He had been aggressive because he had been really drunk.”
McGovern thinks Nathaniel’s display of rage had been a prelude that is ominous killing Lauren.
“this might be a violence murder that is domestic. This is perpetrated because of this relationship, that was a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship,” McGovern told “48 Hours.”
“The prosecution is painting this as a domestic violence that is violence-dating,” Smith noted to Sullivan. “Proper,” he responded.
Nevertheless 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 was 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 months, be reasonable to state you don’t look at defendant at all.
R.J. Bolivar: I do not think so.
“their friends was indeed saying they don’t wish to go out with him any longer because he previously been acting differently,” Chloe told “48 Hours”.
Bill Sullivan: he is maybe perhaps not spending time with you dudes anymore, right?
Friends Connor and R.J. testify Nathaniel had dropped from their social group.
Bill Sullivan: could it be reasonable to express that folks had been commenting that Nathaniel was not around?
R.J. Bolivar: some social everyone was, yeah.