DOVER (AP) — Jurors in the murder trial of a man charged with raping and strangling a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student got to see two sides of the state’s star witness yesterday.
Defense lawyers played an hour-long videotape of then-18-year-old Kathryn McDonough reviewing a statement in which she said she caused the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott during rough sex on Oct. 9, 2012. McDonough is a former girlfriend of 31-year-old Seth Mazzaglia, who is charged with first-degree murder.
The video was made a week after Marriott died and two days after McDonough told defense investigators Marriott, of Westborough, Mass., had a seizure and stopped breathing during sex with McDonough involving restraints.
McDonough shifted blame for the killing to Mazzaglia after being granted immunity from prosecution. She testified last week that Mazzaglia strangled Marriott with a rope after she twice rejected his sexual advances and then raped her as she lay motionless on the floor.
Jurors had in front of them yesterday McDonough on the witness stand watching McDonough projected on a large screen. They will ultimately decide which McDonough to believe.
The video depicts a relaxed McDonough reading a typed version of the detailed statement she gave to defense attorney Joachim Barth and his investigators two days after Mazzaglia’s arrest. Occasionally she makes corrections or elaborates when an investigator asks questions.
When the video was over, Barth questioned McDonough about the contrast in her stories and demeanor when questioned about the night Marriott died at the Dover apartment she shared with Mazzaglia.
McDonough said the story she told his office on Oct. 15, 2012, was “a very big lie.”
“I created the lie two days before,” she said.
Testimony opened yesterday with two FBI forensics experts saying strands of hair found on an island in Portsmouth where prosecutors say the couple dragged Marriott’s body before throwing it in a river probably came from Marriott.