Nathaniel Fujita, 18, will be arraigned in Woburn Superior Court on Aug. 23 on charges connected to the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Astley, in Wayland in early July.
On Aug. 4, a on charges of first-degree murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery.
Jessica Pastore, a spokesperson with Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone’s office, said the case became a superior court case when the grand jury decided there was sufficient evidence to indict Fujita on first-degree murder charges.
in connection with the murder of Astley, whose body was found in a marshy area of Wayland on July 4. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined her cause of death to be an incised wound to the neck in combination with strangulation by ligature.
, Assistant District Attorney Lisa McGovern said investigators discovered blood on the floor of the garage at Fujita’s Wayland home as well as bungee cords when they executed a search warrant. Fujita pleaded not guilty at the arraignment and was ordered held without bail by Framingham District Court Judge Robert Greco.
At the upcoming Aug. 23 arraignment, Pastore explained, there could be another bail argument if the defense chooses to make one. It is also at this arraignment that the state will file a statement of case, which outlines the case the prosecution intends to make against the defendant.
There will be a series of hearings following the arraignment, Pastore explained, including an evidentiary hearing when a judge will rule on what will or won’t be admissible in court. Other hearings could be scheduled depending on the defense’s requests.
Pastore said it is impossible to estimate how long it will be before Fujita actually stands trial, but she did say that it will likely be at least a year.