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UNH student's killer withdraws request to miss sentencing hearing

Union Leader Correspondent

August 12. 2014 6:11PM

Seth Mazzaglia 

DOVER – Convicted killer Seth Mazzaglia withdrew his motion to skip his upcoming sentencing in a sudden reversal late Tuesday, meaning Mazzaglia will appear in court Thursday before family and friends of murdered UNH student Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott.

Melissa Marriott, Lizzi Marriott’s mother, had called Mazzaglia a “selfish coward” after a Tuesday hearing, in which Mazzaglia had said he wished to skip his sentencing and Judge Steven Houran had declined to immediately issue a ruling on the request.

Mazzaglia apparently asked his attorneys to withdraw his motion well after Tuesday’s hearing ended. His sentencing remains scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.

After Tuesday’s hearing but before Mazzaglia’s reversal, Melissa Marriott spoke to media gathered in a foyer at Strafford County Superior Court.

“This is a self-serving motion to avoid being held publicly accountable for Lizzi’s murder and rape and to have justice dispensed upon him in a public courtroom,” Melissa Marriott said. “It’s also a cowardly attempt to avoid facing us, the victims of his horrific crimes.”

More than 30 minutes after the hearing ended, court staff handed new copies of the motion to media. The new copies had a scribbled, hand-written note that said “withdrawn by court at Mr. Mazzaglia’s direction.”

Mazzaglia, 31, was convicted on June 27 of murdering Lizzi Marriott on Oct. 9, 2012, in the Dover apartment Mazzaglia shared with his former girlfriend, Kathryn McDonough.

After a trial that lasted nearly all of June, a jury found Mazzaglia guilty of two charges of first-degree murder, one for purposely strangling Marriott and the other for committing an act of violent sexual assault on her body before, after or while killing her.

He faces an automatic sentence of life without parole on either first-degree murder conviction. A court document filed last month states that the latter charge, involving sexual assault, will be used for sentencing purposes Thursday.

Mazzaglia also was found guilty of conspiracy of falsifying physical evidence and conspiracy to commit tampering with witnesses.

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