Investigators: Blood Stains in Fujita Garage, Car; Wet, Muddy Clothes in Defendant's Home

Tuesday was a technically detailed day of testimony in the murder trial of Nathaniel Fujita, the Wayland man accused of killing Lauren Astley in 2011.

State trooper Anthony DeLucia told jurors Tuesday that he poked his head through a crawlspace opening in the ceiling of Nathaniel Fujita's bedroom and found a pair of stained sneakers and a trash bag holding wet, muddy clothing.

Fujita is facing a first-degree murder charge arising from the death of 18-year-old Lauren Astley, his former girlfriend and fellow Wayland High School Class of 2011 graduate.

The prosecution says that Fujita lured Astley to his Wayland home on July 3, 2011, where he strangled and stabbed her before dumping her body in a marsh near the Sudbury line. The defense, however, is arguing an insanity defense.

On Tuesday, DeLucia said that his search of the Fujita residence on July 4, 2011, revealed a set of wet sneakers, stuffed with paper towels, in the basement of the Fujita home in addition to the items discovered in the crawlspace, which included specifically a set of sneakers with "brownish-red stains"; two gray sweatshirts with mud in some pockets; and a dirty white T-shirt.

Also on Tuesday, a chemist working with the state laboratory testified that her preliminary tests revealed blood in the Fujita garage, on several items recovered from the garage, in Astley's Jeep and in the gold Honda CRV previous witnesses said the defendant regularly drove.

Jennifer Montgomery, the chemist, was also called upon when Fujita was arrested in the early morning of July 5, 2011, to examine the defendant and his appearance.

At that time, Montgomery testified, she noticed some small abrasions on Fujtia's right hand, his knee and his upper thigh.

Montgomery was in the midst of of her testimony when court adjourned Tuesday. She will continue her testimony when court resumes Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, Melissa Marino, a digital evidence expert, said her investigation of Fujita's computer revealed a user conducted a search for the phrase, "Does water erase fingerprints?" a little after midnight on July 4.

Marino also testified that she investigated Astley's computer. On that computer, Marino said under the questioning of defense attorney William Sullivan, she located photos that appeared to be of Fujita and had last been "touched" -- opened by a user or used by a computer program -- on June 22, 2011.

Testimony resumes Wednesday at 9 a.m. Judge Peter Lauriat told jurors Tuesday that the attorneys from both sides informed him they expect to be ready to make closing statements on Tuesday, March 5.

For a complete recap of testimony from Feb. 26, see the Wayland Murder Trial Live Blog.


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