Mazzaglia trial date scheduled for May

Mazzaglia trial date scheduled for May

By Melissa Proulx
On February 25, 2014

UNH alumnus Seth Mazzaglia will soon head to the Strafford County Superior Court, where he will stand trial for the alleged murder of UNH student Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott. Mazzaglia allegedly committed the crime in October 2012.

According to New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Pete Hinckley, the trial is set to begin May 14. The court has also scheduled a video hearing for Mazzaglia on April 25, where the five charges - which consist of two first-degree murder charges, one charge of second-degree murder and two charges of conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension or prosecution - will be reviewed in a video hearing.

"These are all Class B felonies," Hinckley said, explaining the potential outcomes if Mazzaglia were to be found guilty. "A first-degree murder conviction [for example] would mean life in prison without parole."

Hinckley also said that multiple charges are common in a case like this, as they provide jurors with "alternative theories" as to what happened.

Due to the ongoing nature of the trial, Hinckley could not discuss the charges or the evidence any further.

"This is a pending trial matter, but we are fully prepared for it," Hinckley said.

This trial comes nearly a year and a half after Marriott went missing on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. She was last heard from around 10 p.m. that night, when she texted a friend to say she was going to visit friends in Dover. 

After four days, it was alleged that Mazzaglia murdered Marriott and that her body had been dumped into the Piscataqua River off of Peirce Island in Portsmouth. Mazzaglia was arrested on Oct. 13 and placed in the Stafford County House of Corrections, where he has been held without bail since.

Officials have yet to recover Marriott's body, despite thorough search efforts.

Mazzaglia was charged with second-degree murder at the time of his initial arrest. The first-degree murder charges allege that Mazzaglia strangled Marriot to death before, during or after sexually assaulting her. The conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension or prosecution charges were added after evidence showed that he and Kathryn McDonough, his girlfriend at the time, had attempted to disguise the nature of the crime. 

Mazzaglia was also indicted on charges of an alleged "armed and violent breakout" from jail in November 2013.

McDonough has already pleaded guilty to attempting to cover up Marriott's death. She is now serving one-and-a-half to three years in prison for cooperating with investigators.

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