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Pathologist points to suffocation, not strangulation, as cause of death for Lizzi Marriott
Lisa Greenwaldt, an investigator with the N.H. Public Defenders Office, testifies during the trial of Seth Mazzaglia at Strafford County Superior Court in Dover on Monday. (AP Photo/Portsmouth Herald, Rich Beauchesne, Pool)
“What Kat McDonough describes in her grand jury testimony is a homicidal ligature strangulation,” Kafner said, referring to strangulation that involves a tying or binding material, as opposed to manual strangulation by the hands. “I believe she states it takes place over a period of 10 to 15 minutes, with the defendant having a rope ... and pulling hard for 10 or 15 minutes.”
“In the 29 years I’ve been doing this, I have seen one homicidal ligature strangulation,” he said. “One.”
McDonough has testified that after Mazzaglia strangled Marriott, she helped Mazzaglia pack Marriott’s body into a suitcase and drive Marriott’s car to Peirce Island in Portsmouth, where McDonough said they pushed Marriott’s body into the water.
The defense’s first witness Monday in Strafford County Superior Court was Lisa Greenwaldt, a former investigator for the N.H. Public Defender’s office, where she is now a case coordinator. She testified Monday about her interviews with McDonough on Oct. 15 and 17, 2012, following Mazzaglia’s arrest Oct. 13.
“In my opinion, the scenario most likely would be the one that Kat McDonough told the attorneys in their office — that it was basically a smothering event during sex, where the victim’s nose and mouth are occluded,” Kanfer said on the stand.Earlier Monday, prosecutor Peter Hinckley repeatedly asked Greenwaldt why she failed to record in audio or video her Oct. 15, 2012, interview with McDonough, and questioned Greenwaldt about disparities between her initial, handwritten notes and a typed report she made after that interview.
McDonough is serving a 1½- to three-year prison term after pleading guilty last July to charges that included witness tampering and hindering the investigation, as part of a plea agreement. She has testified that she helped cover up the murder and rape of Marriott.
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