Mazzaglia found guilty

By Melissa Proulx
On June 30, 2014
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After nearly two years and a trial that lasted a month, a verdict has been given in the case of University of New Hampshire student Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott, who was reported missing in October of 2012.

A Strafford County Superior Court jury found Seth Mazzaglia guilty on Friday of the first-degree murder of Marriott that ook place on October 9, 2012, showing that the prosecutors were able to prove that he had knowingly killed the 19-year-old girl after she denied his request for a sex with himself and his then-girlfriend, Kathryn McDonough.

Marriott’s body was dumped into the water off of Pierce Island and remains missing.

Prosecutors, whose team was headed by New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley, were also able to prove that Mazzaglia and McDonough had worked together in order to cover up potential evidence and change the narrative of what happened the night of Marriott’s death. For this, Mazzaglia was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit witness tampering and committing falsifying physical evidence.

The trial had several witnesses, including Rosemary Macalone, a neighbor who heard a scream from Mazzaglia’s apartment the night Marriott was murdered; Scott Petrin, the Dover police officer who found Marriott’s car in a UNH parking lot; Roberta Gerkin, a woman who had a brief relationship with Mazzaglia and saw Marriott’s body in the couple’s apartment that night; and McDonough herself.

McDonough gave a 10-day testimony that made up the bulk of the trial, telling jurors not only of the events that happened the night that Marriott died, but of the BDSM relationship she and Mazzaglia had, telling those in the courtroom of times when the two bit, scratched, slapped, pinched, bounded and even cut each other with knives.

McDonough is currently serving up to three years in state prison in exchange for her testimony.

For Marriott’s father, Bob Marriott, the verdict did provide some relief after an emotional ordeal.

“We are very grateful that the jury returned a guilty verdict for first degree murder because it will keep the convict in prison for the rest of his life,” Bob Marriott said in a prepared statement after the verdict was given. “Keeping him off the streets protects the other young women who might have otherwise become additional victims is what we had hoped for. Unfortunately, a trial, even with a conviction, cannot console us over the loss of Lizzi.”

In their post-trial statements, prosecutors offered their praise and gratitude for those impacted by the trial.

"On behalf of all in law enforcement, we extend our sympathies to the family and friends of Lizzi Marriott," Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward was quoted saying on WMUR News 9’s website. "We all wanted to bring her home but were unable to do so. Throughout this lengthy trial and during the pendency of this case, the Marriott family has exhibited dignity, perseverance, determination, and patience."

A guilty conviction of these crimes carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. The sentencing hearing will be held on an unknown future date.

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