Lizzi Marriott case continues with letters, deposition, guilty plea from McDonough
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 02:09
Wednesday, Sept. 11, marked the deposition hearing of state police Trooper Joseph Ebert, who led the interrogation of Dover resident Seth Mazzaglia, 30, in the October 2012 murder of UNH student Elizabeth ‘Lizzi’ Marriott.
According to a Seacoast Online article, Ebert “interviewed Mazzaglia over a 10-hour period” in various locations. Mazzaglia’s defense attorneys, however, said that they were given very little information from these interrogations and requested a deposition hearing about the proceedings in order to ensure the interviews were conducted properly and legally.
The request was granted on the condition that the questions posed to Ebert only covered unrecorded conversations and observations Ebert made.
This update followed the recent revelation of letters Mazzaglia sent his girlfriend and alleged partner in the murder, Kathryn McDonough, 19, of Portsmouth.
The letters, according to court documents, contain plans to frame Roberta Gerkin and Paul Hickok, associates of Mazzaglia and McDonough, who were supposedly called to Mazzaglia’s apartment after Marriott’s death and saw the body in Mazzaglia’s apartment.
McDonough also tried to convince Gerkin to lie to the police on Nov. 7. Furthermore, Mazzaglia suggested killing Gerkin to McDonough in the letters.
The letters also contain instructions for McDonough to memorize false information provided by Mazzaglia about the murder.
The case had another break over the summer when McDonough pleaded guilty on July 25 to her charges of witness tampering, hindering apprehension or prosecution and conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension or prosecution.
She received one and a half to three years in prison for her cooperation with the case.
In an impact statement to the court, Bob Marriott, Lizzi Marriott’s father, said he has “accepted this negotiated plea as the right thing to do for this criminal case to move forward. I do not think that Kat McDonough is getting a fair or a just sentence given her involvement with Lizzi’s death.”
Mazzaglia has been charged with two first-degree murder charges, one second-degree murder charge and a charge of conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension or prosecution.
According to Seacoast Online, jury selection for Mazzaglia’s trial is tentatively set for May 5, 2014. In the meantime, Mazzaglia will remain in the Strafford County Jail until his trial, which does not have a set date despite a June 26 pre-trial conference to determine one.
The case has been running since Marriott’s disappearance on Oct. 9, 2012. She was last heard from when she texted a friend around 10 p.m. saying she was visiting friends in Dover, where her cell phone was last used. She also left a note for her family saying she would be home by midnight. According to prosecutors, Mazzaglia is accused of strangling Marriott in his Dover apartment while attempting to commit sexual assault the day of her disappearance.
On Oct. 11, the search for Marriott and her then-missing car expanded around the Pierce Island area in Portsmouth.
The car was found in a campus parking lot the next day. According to prosecutors, Mazzaglia and McDonough used Marriott’s car to transport her body and left it in the parking lot.
On Oct. 13, the attorney general’s office pronounced Marriott dead, despite the lack of a body. Mazzaglia was arrested for the murder on the same day.
UNH also held a moment of silence during their men’s hockey game, while Marriott’s hometown of Westborough, Mass. held a candlelight vigil that night.
Marriott was living with relatives in Chester and commuting to campus for classes during her time at UNH.
Mazzaglia waived his probable cause hearing and offered no plea for his charges on Oct. 15.
Despite the efforts of various newspapers on Nov. 1, Dover Circuit Court Judge Stephen Morrison denied their request to unseal court documents in the case.
McDonough was arrested on Dec. 24 in connection with the case. She was arraigned Dec. 26, had her probable cause hearing Jan. 2, and was indicted on April 3 for her charges.
Mazzaglia was later indicted for his charges on April 23.
Marriott’s body has not been recovered, despite search efforts since her disappearance in October.