Fujita apparently will not take stand in own defense

Posted: 03/04/13 at 4:45 pm EST      Last Updated: 03/04/13 at 6:54 pm EST

WOBURN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Testimony in the trial of a Wayland man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend began Monday with a surprise announcement from the judge that a juror was being dismissed, but no reason was given.

Nathaniel Fujita was portrayed as a troubled young man dealing with a range of mental health problems in Monday’s final testimony. Fujita will apparently not being taking the stand in his own defense.

“He had a loss of his insight, he had impaired judgment. His mood was about as low as you can get. He was having suicidal feelings,” said Dr. Wade Myers, Director of Forensic Psychiatry, RI Hospital.

One doctor said Fujita even stole his sister's medications and was smoking marijuana heavily -- especially after breaking up with girlfriend Lauren Astley.

“He was smoking marijuana, he’s not sleeping until noon but he’s sleeping until eight or 10 in the morning,” a doctor said.

Medical witnesses were asked about Fujita's football injuries and his possible mental state the night he allegedly strangled Astley, and then dumped her body in a marsh.

The prosecution claims Fujita was aware of what he was doing.

“Do you recall learning about the fact that this defendant engaged in a Google search in the early morning hours after having killed Lauren Astley?” the prosecution asked Dr. Myers.

“Right, around 1 a.m.,” replied Dr. Myers.

“And the Google search involved researching whether fingerprints would be erased by water. Isn’t that correct Dr. Myers?” the prosecution asked.

“All I saw was a fleeting entry about fingerprints and water. I didn’t see anything beyond that,” replied Dr. Myers.

The dismissal of the juror means the pool is now down to 15. When deliberations begin, 12 will be chosen with the other three serving as alternates.

Closing arguments are expected Tuesday.

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