Rose Macaione testifies Thursday in Strafford County Superior Court in Dover, N.H. in the Seth Mazzaglia murder trial. Mazzaglia is on trial charged with killing Marriott and dumping her body into the Piscataqua River which feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. Her body has never been found. Macaione described a scream she heard from her apartment in Dover, N.H., the night prosecutors allege Marriott was killed. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Mazzaglia trial witness: 'I heard a scream - a very horrible scream'
DOVER — A neighbor of Seth Mazzaglia testified Thursday that she heard a “blood-curdling” scream coming from his apartment on the night Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott disappeared.
Mazzaglia, 31, faces charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and conspiracy and criminal solicitation in the 2012 death of Marriott, a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys continued to make their case Thursday during the second day of the trial.
Mazzaglia’s former girlfriend, Kathryn “Kat” McDonough, who is currently serving 1½ to three years in prison for hindering prosecution, is expected to testify against Mazzaglia as part of a negotiated plea deal.
Marriott’s body has not been found. Prosecutors say Mazzaglia and McDonough dumped her body in the Piscataqua River.
In Wednesday’s opening statements, defense attorney Joachim Barth told jurors it was McDonough, not Mazzaglia, who killed Marriott during sexual acts of bondage and domination the night of Oct. 9, 2012.
On Thursday, prosecutors called several witnesses, including Marriott’s aunt, girlfriend and a former co-worker, Mazzaglia’s former manager, an official from the N.H. Department of Transportation and the Strafford County Jail.
In the afternoon, Rose Macaione, who lives near Mazzaglia’s apartment, recalled how she heard a scream from across the Bellamy River Oct. 9, 2012. She said she was watching an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” and the windows were open in her third floor apartment at the time.
“I heard a scream – a very horrible scream.”
She described it as a woman’s “high-pitched, blood-curdling scream.
“It was loud enough to catch my attention,” Macaione said.
She said she turned down her TV and went to her window afterwards and heard a man’s voice.
“I couldn’t hear the words, but I heard the tone,” Macaione said. It was loud and “seemed to end in a questioning form,” she said.
Earlier in the morning, Nathan McNeal, of Portsmouth, who once worked with Marriott at Target in Portsmouth, said they would talk – via text during online games – about silly stuff like “plans of world domination and octopuses.”
“She was a nerd like I was,” McNeal said. He said they both enjoyed playing games such as World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons.
McNeal said they were “just friends” and that he knew Marriott was involved in a relationship with Brittany Atwood, now of Hudson, Mass.
“It seemed very serious to me,” McNeal said. He said he knew Atwood “was a little jealous” of his friendship with Marriott.
Later in the morning, Atwood, who is now 26, testified that she met Marriott while they were both working at a Stop & Shop and became “romantically involved” in the spring of 2012. She added they would talk – by a variety of means – “every day and multiple times a day all the time.”
“She would tell me everything,” Atwood said, adding Marriott was a friendly, open and trusting person.
“She was beautiful – inside and out,” Atwood said.
During cross examination, Mazzaglia’s attorney Melissa Davis asked Atwood whether she was worried about Marriott finding someone while in New Hampshire, if she was jealous of McNeal or even McDonough.
While she said no at first, Atwood admitted her concerns after seeing evidence of text and phone conversations she had in the past.
Both McNeal and Atwood recalled having conversations with Marriott via phone and text messages Oct. 9, 2012, before losing contact with her around 9 p.m.
Atwood, who last saw Marriott Oct. 7, 2012, said the conversation, which was “happy” and “silly,” continued until Marriott visited Mazzaglia and McDonough at their apartment. She said she never heard from her again.
She described this as “very unusual” because Marriott “would text me back right away” in the past. She said she attempted to contact Marriott via text, using Facebook, calling her phone, which went to voicemail m and that she even reached out to Marriott’s parents.
After police began searching for Marriott, McNeal testified that he texted McDonough, asking her whether she had seen or heard from Marriott and whether Marriott had visited McDonough and Mazzaglia on Oct. 9, 2012.
McNeal testified that McDonough responded that Marriott hadn’t come over that night, but she heard how Marriott was missing and was telling the police “everything.”
He said McDonough didn’t respond to his next text, which said, “Please tell me you are ignorant of all this,” according to phone records introduced into evidence.
The trial is set to continue today at 9 a.m.