- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

DOVER, N.H. (AP) - A jury on Friday convicted a 31-year-old man of killing and raping a University of New Hampshire college student following a trial filled with lurid details of sexual domination, experimentation and violence.

The jury in Strafford Superior Court found Seth Mazzaglia guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott of Westborough, Massachusetts, in October 2012.

The key witness, 20-year-old Kathryn McDonough, was Mazzaglia’s girlfriend when she lured Marriott to their apartment. She testified that Mazzaglia wanted another woman to join their sexual escapades, which included bondage and discipline.

McDonough first told investigators that Marriott died during rough sex between the two women that involved restraints. After getting immunity from prosecution, McDonough changed her story and said Mazzaglia strangled Marriott then raped her. After Marriott was dead, Mazzaglia and McDonough dumped her body in river. It has never been found.

Mazzaglia was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder that stated he strangled Marriott “before, after or while” sexually assaulting her. He also was convicted of conspiracy to falsify evidence and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

Mazzaglia showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

He will be sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.

Marriott’s father, Bob, said the family is grateful for the verdict but that even a life sentence will never soothe their grief. Marriott gave a police officer a bear hug after the verdicts were read.

“We will always miss her and we wonder what could have been,” Marriott said, his voice quavering. “In fact, the trial has been torturous for us. The truth of what happened to Lizzi is horrendous. And every time it’s been told, it has reinforced the despair that we feel.”

Marriott said the verdict will keep a dangerous man off the streets and protect other women.

He also had harsh words for Mazzaglia’s lawyers for what he called intentionally misstating his daughter’s action the night she died.

“Blaming a victim who is unable to defend herself is a typical ploy used by defense teams. If you are dead, you cannot correct a mischaracterization,” he said.

Mazzaglia’s lawyers did not comment after the verdict.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday, after hearing 19 days of testimony. McDonough was on the stand for 10 of those days.

The trial hinged on McDonough’s credibility. Mazzaglia did not testify.

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