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Attorney: Wayland Man Charged With Killing Ex-Girlfriend Had ‘Psychotic Episode’

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WOBURN (CBS/AP) — The trial of a Wayland man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend is underway in Woburn.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

Lawyers presented opening statements Wednesday morning in the case of 20-year-old Nathaniel Fujita in Middlesex Superior Court.

Fujita has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the July 2011 death of Lauren Astley. Both were 18 at the time and had just graduated from Wayland High School.

Prosecutors say Fujita took their breakup hard and stabbed and strangled Astley at his home, then left her body in a marsh.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa McGovern told the jury that Fujita’s actions were planned and deliberate, and he tried hard to cover his tracks, hiding bloody clothes, washing blood from his home and throwing Astley’s body in a marsh.

“Lauren Astley didn’t bleed out quickly. Her death came in minutes, not in seconds,” McGovern said.

Fujita’s lawyer has previously indicated he may use an insanity defense. On Wednesday, he told jurors that Fujita had become withdrawn from his friends and was seeing a psychiatrist. The attorney says Fujita suffered what he calls a brief psychotic disorder.

“(He) was not able to control himself or even understand what it was he was doing,” attorney Bill Sullivan said.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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