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Astley’s Mother Recalls Confronting Fujita At Party Month Before Murder

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Christina Hager Christina Hager
Award-winning reporter Christina Hager works as a general assignmen...
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WOBURN (CBS) – Lauren Astley’s mother sat through weeks of unbearable testimony about her daughter’s murder. Now it was her turn. “This is my only child, Lauren Astley,” she said, referring to a photo that was then displayed throughout Mary Dunne’s testimony.

She remembered a Wayland High graduation party she helped host when her daughter came to her crying. She had been arguing with her ex-boyfriend, Nate Fujita.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Mark Katic reports


Fujita stared down at the defense table as she told the story. “I told Nathaniel that he needed to settle down. He and Lauren were no longer dating, that this was her graduation party and she deserved to enjoy herself.”

Mary Dunne, Lauren Astley's mother, on the stand in Middlesex Superior Court, Feb. 28, 2013.

Mary Dunne, Lauren Astley’s mother, on the stand in Middlesex Superior Court, Feb. 28, 2013.

She said it happened a second time. Lauren came to her crying. “I telephoned Nathaniel’s mother, Beth Fujita, and I asked her to pick her son up from the party.”

That was the last time she saw him before the murder. By the end of her testimony, Fujita was sobbing, trembling, struggling to breathe. The prosecution rested.

Fujita’s aunt was the defense’s first witness. Joyce Saba testified the family has a history of mental illness. Nate Fujita has two great uncles with paranoid schizophrenia, and his sister has been admitted for psychiatric treatment. The defense is expected to call a psychiatrist to the stand Friday.

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