Posted: Jun 3, 2014 7:52 AM
Updated: Jun 3, 2014 7:52 AM
DOVER, N.H. (AP) A woman says she watched her ex-boyfriend strangle a University of New Hampshire coed in 2012.
Kathryn McDonough, who is serving a prison sentence for lying to investigators about the student's disappearance and death, took the stand Tuesday morning in Seth Mazzaglia's first-degree murder trial. Mazzaglia is accused of raping and killing Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott of Westborough, Massachusetts, after she rebuffed his sexual advances.
Prosecutors began questioning McDonough by asking her point-blank who killed Marriott. She answered: "Seth Mazzaglia." When asked how, she replied, "He strangled her with a rope."
When asked how she knew that, she replied, "I was there."
Mazzaglia's lawyer has told jurors that McDonough killed Marriott during rough sex involving restraints. They say Mazzaglia helped dispose of her body and initially took blame out of his obsessive love for McDonough.
McDonough, 20, is the key witness against 31-year-old Mazzaglia.
Lawyers on both sides cast her differently. Prosecutors portray her as the sexual submissive, dominated in all aspects of their relationship by a man 10 years older than her.
Mazzaglia's lawyers say she was the dominatrix, a woman obsessed with finding another woman to dominate, and it was Mazzaglia who was her sexual slave.
On one thing both sides agree: McDonough watched Marriott die.
McDonough was 17 when she met Mazzaglia at tryouts for a theater production. She moved into his Dover apartment when she turned 18, during her senior year. It was Oct. 9, 2012 mere months after she graduated from high school when Marriott died in their Dover apartment.
Marriott had transferred to the University of New Hampshire only weeks earlier to major in marine biology. She was a commuter student, living with her aunt and uncle in Chester during the week and returning home to Westborough most weekends.
There has been testimony that Marriott she had been in a committed relationship with Brittany Atwood, who lived in Massachusetts.
Marriott met McDonough at a department store not far from the UNH campus where they both worked. On the night she died, Marriot text messages Atwood minutes before 9 to let her know she was going over to "Kat's" to watch a movie. Atwood testified she was happy for her because she was finally making new friends.
The text message was Marriott's last communication.
McDonough is serving a 1-1/2 to three-year sentence for conspiracy and hindering prosecution.
Defense attorney Joachim Barth told jurors during his opening statement that McDonough bargained her concocted story of what happened that night in exchange for time off her sentence, and that testifying against Mazzaglia is part of her plea deal.
Bob Marriott, the victim's father, said at her sentencing last July that the family grudgingly accepted the plea deal to further the prosecution of Mazzaglia.