Jurors in the Nathaniel Fujita trial were taken by bus Friday to three Wayland locations allegedly tied to the slaying of Lauren Astley.
Fujita is accused of strangling and slashing to death Astley, his ex-girlfriend, on July 3, 2011, when both were 18 and recent Wayland High School graduates.
As the first week of the trial ended, jurors visited the Fujita home, the nearby Wayland Town Beach, and a secluded site off Water Row, where Astley’s body was found, partially submerged in mud.
The prosecution is arguing that Fujita lured Astley to his house and killed her because he was humiliated by their recent breakup. Fujita’s attorney, William Sullivan, says his client suffered a brief psychotic episode and did not know what he was doing.
Although reporters were kept at a distance during the tour, attorneys described in court what jurors would see beforehand.
“You’ll have the opportunity to view the proximity of the home to the garage, the garage to other areas,” said Lisa McGovern, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. “You’ll go inside the garage.”
In 2011, investigators reported finding blood in the Fujitas’ detached garage next to some bungee cords.
Astley was strangled with a bungee cord.
McGovern also told jurors they would go into the Fujita home, where she would draw their attention to an attic crawl space.
Investigators said they found Fujita’s bloody clothes in a plastic bag stashed in an attic crawl space above his bedroom.
Sullivan, Fujita’s attorney, said he would ask jurors to observe the sight lines between the garage and the Fujita home and other nearby buildings.
After about 35 minutes Friday at the Fujita home, located in a quiet, modest neighborhood, jurors were taken to the Wayland Town Beach, where Astley’s car was found the night of her death.
The last stop was an isolated area near the Sudbury River, which is said to be marshy in warmer months. Jurors were taken to a spot along Water Row, out of sight of any houses or other buildings.
Fujita, now 20, is charged with first-degree murder, two charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and one count of assault and battery. If he is convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.
Fujita’s attorney appears to be building an insanity defense. If Fujita is found not guilty because of a lack of criminal responsibility, he would be committed indefinitely, his attorney said.
The trial is expected to last three weeks, with jury deliberations in early March, the judge has said. It is set to resume Tuesday with a full day of witness testimony.