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Credibility expected to be key issue for star witness in Mazzaglia trial
“You want to make that jury believe that she wasn’t paid with money. She was paid with her freedom,” Salem defense attorney Steven Shadallah said.
Juries are often able to measure witnesses testimony against other facts presented in a case, asking themselves: “What has that person told me that corroborates with objective facts in the case?” Howard said.
“If (Mazzaglia’s) level of specificity doesn’t match what he is saying now, that’s going to be a problem,” Howard said. “I can tell you based on my experience as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, an interview lasting more than an hour is not going to be helpful (to him).”
The more details that the defense can provide to the jury about their sex encounters, the more they can possibly cast doubt on the state’s theory about the murder, according to Bernstein.
“Let’s not forget she pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension and witness tampering. She’s clearly not honest,” he said. “Why is she telling the truth this time?”
Measuring the size and strength of Mazzaglia versus McDonough’s could be another way that jurors assess the competing narratives about Marriott’s death.
Prosecutors may be relying on witnesses more than usual in the Mazzaglia trial. Marriott’s body was dumped from the shores of Peirce Island in Portsmouth shortly after the murder and never recovered.
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