DOVER, N.H. - Rebuffed twice by University of New Hampshire student Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, her alleged killer, Seth Mazzaglia, quickly incapacitated her with a rope and raped her while calling her names, Mazzaglia's ex-girlfriend said Wednesday in emotional testimony that forced a pause in his trial.
Kathryn McDonough spent her second day on the stand Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Mazzaglia, who is charged with killing Marriott, 19, at his Dover apartment on Oct. 9, 2012.
McDonough, 31, had lured Marriott, her co-worker, to his apartment with the promise of watching a movie or playing a video game. In reality, McDonough testified, it was she who was offering Marriott as a sex partner for Mazzaglia, who was angry that McDonough had left him alone for 12 days.
Mazzaglia's lawyers have said that McDonough killed Marriott during rough sex.
McDonough gave this account:
Mazzaglia sent her a text message at 10:26 p.m. asking, "We painting tonight?" - a coded reference to having sex with Marriott.
She replied: "Your decision, I guess. If you have a plan. Nervous."
"I didn't really know what he wanted to do," McDonough testified.
After a game of strip poker, Mazzaglia suggested to Marriott that she kiss McDonough. When Marriott said no, saying she was in a committed relationship, Mazzaglia said he wanted Marriott to watch him and McDonough have sex. Marriott again refused.
McDonough, who previously told the jury about the couple's sadomasochistic relationship, testified that Mazzaglia was unaccustomed to hearing "no."
"That's when he moved up behind her and he pulled the rope up over her head and he strangled her," she said. "She let out a quick noise and she sort of stopped. Her arms curled up against her chest and her eyes were closed."
McDonough said Mazzaglia was wearing gloves and had a soft, white cotton rope the couple used in bondage sex and that after Mazzaglia strangled Marriott, McDonough went into the bathroom.
When she returned to the main part of the studio apartment, she says she saw Mazzaglia raping Marriott and calling her names - her motionless body prone on the floor. McDonough further testified that then Mazzaglia went into the bathroom and told her to hold the rope around Marriott's neck. McDonough said she laid the rope loosely over Marriott's neck.
"Her mouth opened a tiny bit," McDonough testified. "I only noticed because I was so close to her."
She testified, voice quavering, that she checked for a pulse and found none. Neither she nor Mazzaglia called police or an ambulance.
Marriott's father, Bob Marriott, sat in the front row, his shoulders heaving with silent sobs as McDonough testified in a monotone about his daughter's last minutes.
Moments later, when a prosecutor projected a timeline of events on a screen, McDonough started sobbing uncontrollably. The judge called a break and she was escorted from the courtroom, still sobbing and trembling.
When court resumed, McDonough described the couple's efforts to get rid of the body.
They folded Marriott's body into a suitcase and took her to an island where she knew the currents were strong, she said. They tossed the body over a railing, but the body fell on rocks short of the water, McDonough said. She said she climbed down the rocks and dragged her body into the water, where she covered it with seaweed.
"Because of us she never got to live her life," McDonough said. "It's not something we can fix. She can never come back."
McDonough, 20, is serving a 1 1/2- to three-year sentence for conspiracy and hindering prosecution. Mazzaglia's defense lawyer has told jurors that McDonough is the real killer who concocted her story to get out of a long prison sentence. The defense has yet to cross-examine her.