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Judge Grants Fujita More Time to Make Decision on Lawyer

During a brief hearing Tuesday, a judge told Nathaniel Fujita he could have additional time to work out the legal representation for his murder trial.

Nathaniel Fujita has until Friday to reach some resolution regarding his desire to part ways with his current attorney and either hire someone new or accept court-appointed representation for his murder trial.

During a hearing Tuesday afternoon at Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn, Judge S. Jane Haggerty granted Fujita three more days to dismiss his current attorney, William Sullivan, and secure funding for a new private attorney or accept a court-appointed lawyer.

“He wanted to reflect a little bit more,” Sullivan said after the hearing, “and make an informed decision.

Fujita is facing charges that he murdered 18-year-old Lauren Astley, his ex-girlfriend and Wayland High School classmate, in July 2011.

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Sullivan has represented Fujita since his arrest days after the July 3, 2011, murder.

At a hearing on Oct. 1, Fujita told Haggerty he didn’t “feel comfortable” with Sullivan representing him and said he had spoken with another attorney who agreed to take his case.

Fujita, however, was declared indigent, and Haggerty gave him until the Oct. 16 hearing to secure funds for a new private attorney or accept the one a court appointed.

After the Oct. 1 hearing, George Mattingly, a spokesperson for Fujita’s parents, said the family did not support Fujita’s decision to part with Sullivan, whom they considered to be  “superb lawyer.” He said Fujita’s parents, Tomo and Beth Fujita, were hopeful their son would change his mind and remain with Sullivan.

Mattingly said on Oct. 16 that the family’s position remains unchanged.

The next hearing on this matter is Friday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m.

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