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Mazzaglia defense asks ex-girlfriend if she is 'a good liar'

Union Leader Correspondent

June 09. 2014 8:14PM

Kathryn McDonough leaves the courtroom during afternoon break, as her testimony continues in the Seth Mazzaglia trial at Strafford County Superior Court in Dover, N.H., on Monday, June 9, 2014. Mazzaglia is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2012 death of 19-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott of Westborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Portsmouth Herald, Rich Beauchesne, Pool)

DOVER — Defense attorney Joachim Barth asked accused murderer Seth Mazzaglia’s ex-girlfriend Kathryn “Kat” McDonough Monday if she was “a good liar.”

“You have admitted to lying to (state witness) Roberta Gerkin, you have admitted to lying to (Mazzaglia), you have claimed that you lied to us ... that is, a public defender’s office, taking your statement,” Barth said, referring to when McDonough visited his office in the weeks after Mazzaglia’s arrest on suspicion of the murder of Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott in October 2012.

McDonough agreed to lying in all three instances, and to investigators in the days following the death of the 19-year-old UNH student, but answered Barth’s question by saying: “No, I don’t consider myself a good liar.”

Mazzaglia, 31, faces first- and second-degree murder charges in the Oct. 9, 2012, death of Marriott, who was from Westborough, Mass. According to testimony, she died after a game of strip poker in the Dover apartment that Mazzaglia and McDonough shared.

McDonough, 20, testified last week 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 activities with her or Mazzaglia, and that after Mazzaglia choked Marriott, 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 focused his questioning Monday on whether McDonough had a capacity for dominant roles in her sexual relations with Mazzaglia. She described her role as very submissive in questioning by prosecutors last week. Barth cited many Facebook messages in which McDonough talked with Mazzaglia about their sexual encounters, which she has said began in fall 2011.Barth quoted messages in which McDonough wrote about tying Mazzaglia to their bed; leaving “long, criss-crossed scratches on his neck;” bite marks on his legs, chest and neck; and more.

“You tied him (up) to control his body, correct?” Barth asked. “And while you controlled his body you inflicted physical domination by inflicting pain, correct?”

McDonough said her actions and words didn’t indicate dominance, only “rough sex.”

“You wanted to get away from any notion that you would have sexually dominated Liz Marriott, correct?” Barth asked.

McDonough said she didn’t dominate Marriott, or Mazzaglia.

McDonough is serving a 1½- to three-year prison term after pleading guilty last July to charges including witness tampering and hindering the investigation. She has testified that she helped cover up the murder and rape of Marriott, whose body has never been found.

Barth also referenced an explicit text message Mazzaglia allegedly wrote to McDonough on Aug. 25, 2012. The message detailed violent sexual acts and demands that Mazzaglia had planned for McDonough, with threats including an act of sodomy.

Monday morning, Barth cited notes that McDonough had written to Mazzaglia in which she said, “I want to be tied up, blindfolded, and kneel before you,” and envisioned him “using my body as you please.”

“That (August 2012) text message literally mirrored the messages that you had left him about things for him to do to you, correct?” Barth asked.

McDonough disagreed, and said she said she wrote those notes in efforts to please Mazzaglia.

“I felt inadequate,” McDonough said. “I felt like he wanted all these other women because I could not please him the way he wanted to be pleased.”

McDonough said that Mazzaglia “would be having sex with me while he was scrolling the Internet for pictures of other women.”

The trial resumes at 9 a.m. today in Strafford County Superior Court.

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