Mazzaglia Defense Rests in Murder Trial

Jurors will hear closing arguments June 25 in the case against a man accused of murdering Lizzi Marriott in 2012.

Seth Mazzaglia awaits jurors at Peirce Island in Portsmouth on May 27, 2014. (Dan Tuohy photo)
Seth Mazzaglia awaits jurors at Peirce Island in Portsmouth on May 27, 2014. (Dan Tuohy photo)
DOVER, N.H. – Closing arguments in the trial of the man accused of murdering Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott are scheduled for Wednesday in Strafford County Superior Court in Dover, N.H.

Seth Mazzaglia's defense rested its case June 24 after calling its final witness, one of the accused murderer's long-time friends, Robert Mitchell.

Mitchell testified about how the two played Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games. He spoke of how he was once in Mazzaglia's apartment in Dover while Mazzaglia and his ex-girlfriend Kathryn McDonough were having sex. Despite their friendship, Mitchell said he knew nothing of Mazzaglia's aliases or personas that were described at trial, such as "Doomsday" or "Dark Heart."

State prosecutors have portrayed Mazzaglia, 31, as a manipulative, sex-obsessed and unhinged "Doomsday" of a character who killed Marriott when she spurned his advances. 

The defense said McDonough was responsible for Marriott's death and that it was McDonough, though a decade younger than Mazzaglia, who was the dominating force in the relationship. It was McDonough who sought out a third person to join the couple in one of their bondage and sadomasochistic sex acts, according to Joachim Barth, a defense attorney for Mazzaglia.

Mazzaglia will not take the stand, leaving McDonough as one of the key witnesses in the trial. Her graphic, chilling testimony included description of watching Mazzaglia come up behind Marriott and strangling her while he raped her motionless body.

The defense sought to impeach the credibility of McDonough as a witness, based on her early statements to investigators that Marriott died during consensual sex and "breath play." 

McDonough struck a deal last year with the state and agreed to testify against Mazzaglia. She is serving one and a half to three years – with two similar sentences suspended – for conspiracy, witness tampering and hindering prosecution.

McDonough also testified about how she and Mazzaglia dumped the body of Marriott, a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student from Westborough, Mass., into the strong currents of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth on the night of Oct. 9, 2012.

Her body has never been found.

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