DOVER – As she began her fourth day on the stand in Strafford County Superior Court this week, Kathryn “Kat” McDonough testified Friday morning about how her love for accused murderer Seth Mazzaglia remained strong in the months immediately following the October 2012 death of UNH student Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott, but gradually changed to anger as she reflected on their relationship.
“I was in love with him for a very long time,” McDonough said, in response to questioning from defense attorney Joachim Barth. “Even when he was in Strafford (County) jail, I would talk to him every day. I wanted to talk with him. I felt my world would not be complete without him.”
Mazzaglia, 31, faces first- and second-degree murder charges in the Oct. 9, 2012, death of Marriott, a 19-year-old from Westborough, Mass. According to testimony, she died after a game of strip poker in the Sawyer Mills studio apartment that Mazzaglia and McDonough shared.
Barth asked McDonough at one point about an email she wrote to Mazzaglia in December 2012, saying “I know people are going to question our relationship…I know people are going to judge.”
McDonough said that then – about two months after Marriott’s murder – she still “thought it was a perfectly happy, healthy relationship, and I was still completely in love with him.”
She said that over time, though, she became “more and more angry about how (she) had been treated.”
“My disposition toward him slowly started to change,” she said.
“I had a lot of time to think when I was out on bail,” McDonough continued. “I had learned a lot about what an abusive relationship looked like, what Stockholm syndrome looked like…what an unhealthy relationship looked like.”
McDonough, 20, is serving a 1½- to three-year prison term after pleading guilty to charges including witness tampering and hindering the investigation. She has testified that she helped cover up the murder and rape of Marriott.
Barth noted to McDonough that “the month that you were reflecting on your relationship with Seth, you were charged with serious crimes…you were facing years in prison.”
“It wasn’t something that affected me…(but) I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t something I would think about,” McDonough replied, adding that her greatest concern at that time was that she’d never be able to see Mazzaglia again.
McDonough was arrested Dec. 24, 2012. Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley noted earlier this week that McDonough’s original sentence for felony perjury and other charges was for up to 18 years and that she could return to jail for much of that time if she failed to meet her obligations, such as truthful testimony, in court.
McDonough testified Wednesday that she was sitting next to Marriott when Mazzaglia began strangling Marriott with a white cotton rope. McDonough said Marriott had declined to participate in any sexual contact with her or Mazzaglia, and had said it wouldn’t be OK for the couple to have sex in front of her.
McDonough also testified Wednesday that after Mazzaglia choked Marriott while wearing black leather gloves, he raped her limp body for several minutes while fondling and insulting her.
In the trial’s opening statements May 28, Barth told jurors it was McDonough, not Mazzaglia, who killed Marriott that night, during violent sexual activity.
Barth’s questioning Friday morning also focused on the psychological aspects of McDonough’s relationship with Mazzaglia. McDonough has testified extensively this week about how both of them had a history of adopting multiple personas and how they often engaged in violent sex involving bondage, restraints and choking.
McDonough said Friday that Mazzaglia “became obsessed” during their time together with forming a “dark cult,” and spoke about dominating the human race.
“He wanted to take over the world,” McDonough said. “He needed an army of people who would do anything he asked them to do. … He wanted to do something big.”
The trial continues this afternoon.