NCSF on Twitter   Subscribe to the NCSF RSS Feed   NCSF Blog

"Full Court Press: Shades of Amanda Knox case in N.H. trial"

on Sunday, 01 June 2014. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Lurid details invite media scrum in slay trial

Boston Herald

By Bob McGovern

A blockbuster trial involving sex, bondage, murder and a missing body will begin unfolding today, and a media scrum will envelop a small New Hampshire courthouse, as the case carries with it shades of the infamous Amanda Knox trial.

Seth Mazzaglia, 31, is charged with raping and murdering Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott — a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student whose body has never been found. She was also a native of Westboro, Mass.

The case has eerie similarities to the Knox trial, in which Italian authorities originally held tight to the theory that Meredith Kercher — a young exchange student — was sexually abused and killed during a drug- and drink-fueled orgy. Knox, who was allegedly involved, was convicted, acquitted, and re-convicted of the heinous crime. She has appealed.

Today, national media — hungry for a scandal-page cover sheet — will arrive in Dover, N.H., looking for the next “Foxy Knoxy” case.

Court documents depict ?a seedy crime scene in which Mazzaglia allegedly strangled Marriott during a masochistic sexcapade with his then-girlfriend Kathryn McDonough.

“Mazzaglia … admitted that he had used a rope to strangle Elizabeth as part of a sex act,” said Dover police Sgt. Scott Pettingill, in an ?affidavit.

Marriott died soon after, and Mazzaglia dumped her body in the nearby Piscataqua River, according to Pettingill’s affidavit.

McDonough will be a key witness and, as part of a plea deal, will testify that Mazzaglia raped and killed Marriott. She will spend 11?2 to three years in prison, but while the strategy could sting Mazzaglia, it may not be a slam dunk, according to one expert.

“It could be that the defense uses her to introduce some reasonable doubt. What’s her motive? She got an incredibly good deal here,” said Sven Wilberg, a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney not involved in the case. “How can it be a knockout punch, unless it’s undeniable? If it’s just ‘he said, she said,’ it’s a credibility contest.”

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys will introduce evidence regarding the sexual relationship between McDonough and Mazzaglia, which reportedly involved bondage and occasionally inviting others to join the fray.

The lurid details will force both prosecutors and defense counsel to tread carefully.

“Frankly, it’s a concern for both sides. For the state, the issue is whether the jurors would judge the victim differently based on her perceived role in explicit sexual conduct,” said?James Rosenberg,?a criminal defense attorney who once worked for the state’s homicide unit but is not involved in the case. “For the defendant, any ?information regarding other bad acts could bring up the ?issue of prejudice. Perceived?sexual misconduct could prejudice the jury’s view of the defendant.” ...

Social Bookmarks

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

Cancel Submitting comment...

Latest Reader Comments

  • Where's the rest of the article? It just ends worth "no longer qualifies..."

    Heather Vandegrift

    18. February, 2015 |

  • Your paragraph contrasting poly and swinging contains what I consider to be a fallacy that causes a lot of needless controversy....

    John Ullman

    10. February, 2015 |

  • Oh Shit. didn't know I was responding nation wide. LOL and laughing at self! Nothing is private these days!

    faunta

    04. February, 2015 |

  • I'm not understanding why you would send me a link to an article announcing the 50 kinkiest cities, yet when I click the link, the only...

    faunta

    04. February, 2015 |

  • I have to wonder about the people who made the film and what did they actually think that it was some off kilter game??? To many of...

    Wryter

    07. January, 2015 |

  • I didn't think much of the books and doubted if they could do better on screen. So, I will have zero reasons to pay good money to see it....

    Gillian Boardman

    07. January, 2015 |