Posted on March 2, 2013 · Posted in Brain Injury

It had to happen.

An accused murderer’s defense at his trial includes blaming the concussions he suffered when he was a high school football star, according to the Boston Herald.

The issue has been raised by a defense expert on behalf of Nathaniel Fujita, 20, who is on trial in Massachusetts for the July 3, 2011, murder of his girlfriend Lauren Astley, 18, in Wayland, Mass.

Fujita’s defense is that he killed Astley during a psychotic episode, the Boston Herald reported. And witness Wade Myer, a forensic psychiatrist, testified that this episode could have been caused by the head injuries the young man sustained while playing football at Wayland High School.

“Nathaniel had been playing football at least since he was 11,” the Boston Herald quoted Myer as saying.

“He was getting his head hit half a dozen times a season, pretty significantly where everything would turn white. If you repeatedly subject the brain to these things, this pattern of getting hit, over and over and over again, you start to develop chronic brain problems.”

Fujita strangled Astley with a bungee cord and then cut her neck several times with a knife.

A legal expert interviewed by the Boston Herald said he hadn’t heard of any cases where concussions were used as a defense. I’m not sure if that is true.

But he predicted head injuries will be used again at trials now that sports and head injuries have gotten so much media attention.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447