Defense Claims Ex-Girlfriend Killed Marriott

Mazzaglia is on trial for the murder of Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott in 2012.

Seth Mazzaglia looks to a video screen showing Kathryn McDonough during a break in the trial June 11, 2014. Credit: WMUR.com
Seth Mazzaglia looks to a video screen showing Kathryn McDonough during a break in the trial June 11, 2014. Credit: WMUR.com
By Dan Tuohy/NH Patch 

The defense for accused murderer Seth Mazzaglia continued to question the credibility of the state's key witness by drawing attention to the different stories Kathryn McDonough has told to investigators.

Defense attorney Joachim Barth said the various accounts were spun to hide the truth of McDonough's hand in the death of Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott. Or, as he put it during cross-examination June 11, "to hide what you had just done."

"I hadn't done anything," McDonough replied. "He was in the process of murdering her."

The defense also played a video interview of McDonough taken in the days after Marriott was reported missing and dead. In the video, McDonough talks about an earlier story – that Marriott died during a consensual sex act of bondage with her and Mazzaglia. As she speaks in the video, she cooly describes the supposed sexual positions that she later, on the witness stand, said never occurred. And she sounds almost giddy in explaining bondage and sadomasochism, which she said interested her from a young age.

Barth repeatedly questioned and suggested that McDonough was responsible for Marriott's death on Oct. 9, 2012, and that Mazzaglia was some kind of a volunteer fall guy for the first-degree murder.

"He was my world," McDonough said at one point, trying to explain a devotion to a man she says she witnessed strangle and rape a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student after she spurned his advances.

"He was the world who would protect you from what you had just done," Barth countered.

Barth this week has referenced McDonough's truthfulness. He portrayed her as an expert liar who was shedding crocodile tears on the witness stand. 

McDonough, now 20 and serving one and a half to three years in state prison, described a very calm murderer in Mazzaglia. "He seemed pretty relaxed," she said, "almost like he was enjoying it."

A day after the murder, Barth pointed out that Marriott was surfing the Internet for various bondage and sadomasochism searches. It was part of what the defense has maintained: that McDonough was not the "damsel in distress" that she portrayed herself to be, but rather a more dominant and even obsessive person.

State vs. Seth Mazzaglia continues June 12 in Strafford County Superior Court in Dover, N.H., with McDonough scheduled to return to the witness stand.

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