DOVER — After five days in court, a dozen jurors and four alternates were selected to hear the case against Seth Mazzaglia, 31, of Dover, in the 2012 death of Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott.
Opening arguments in the murder trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday at noon in Strafford County Superior Court.
Mazzaglia is facing multiple counts of first-degree murder — based on the prosecution’s alternate legal approaches to the matter — to go with a second-degree murder charge, along with charges of conspiraccy and criminal solicitation.
The prosecution has opted in this trial to provide the jury the ability to consider the multiple murder charges, so to provide it flexibility regarding a potential conviction, depending on what the jury is willing to accept based on the evidence.
“The judge has stated that the case is expected to take approximately three weeks to try,” Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said.
Mazzaglia is charged with strangling and/or suffocating Elizabeth “Lizzie” Marriott, 19 — then a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire in Durham — in his Mill Street apartment on the night of Oct. 9, 2012, “before, after, or while engaged in the commission of, or while attempting to commit aggravated felonious sexual assault,” as noted in the indictment.
Marriott's body has never been recovered. The conspiracy and criminal solicitation charges are based on Mazzaglia allegedly having conspired with his roommate to dispose of the body.
The jury selection process, which began May 14, concluded Tuesday.
Ward would not comment on the makeup of the jury for the trial — including how it broke down with regard to gender or age.
While high-profile cases can often result in a jury being sequestered in a private location, Ward indicated no such measure would be taken for the Mazzaglia trial.
“As far as jury sequestration, they are generally instructed to avoid any media coverage or conversation/discussion about the case. However, they are not physically sequestered in the sense that they are not put up at a hotel,” Ward said in an e-mail.
Mazzaglia’s attorneys, Joachim Barth and Melissa Davis, of the NH Public Defender’s Office — could not be reached for comment on the trial.