The mother of convicted killer Seth Mazzaglia told her son last week in a recorded prison phone call that the family of murdered UNH student Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott was “in agony,” and has “a right to confront you” at Mazzaglia’s sentencing Thursday.
The recording of the Aug. 6 call between Heather Mazzaglia and her son, who is incarcerated at New Hampshire State Prison in Concord, has been entered into evidence at Strafford County Superior Court.
The transcript was submitted by state prosecutors, who read a portion of it in court in a Tuesday hearing that addressed Mazzaglia’s request last week to not attend his Thursday sentencing.
Mazzaglia’s attorneys withdrew that request after the hearing, and after Judge Steven Houran had declined to immediately issue a ruling.
Mazzaglia’s sentencing remains scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.
Up to 11 of Marriott’s family members and friends could speak, according to court documents.
Mazzaglia will have the right to speak, as well.
He indicated in the Aug. 6 conversation with his mother that he didn’t want to hear what Marriott’s family members might have to say.
“I already know what everyone’s gonna say there so why the hell do I have to be there,” Mazzaglia said. “It’s a waste of my time.”
“Yeah well it’s, it’s for them,” his mother replied, according to the transcript.
Mazzaglia also claimed that he’s innocent of killing and raping Marriott on Oct. 9, 2012, in the Dover apartment he shared with his former girlfriend, Kathryn McDonough.
“If I had been found innocent of the big stuff like I should have been, and like I am, now then it might be a different story,” he said. “Then, then I might have some sympathy.”
“Well,” his mother replied. “Yeah all you can do is regret your part in it.”
Mazzaglia, 31, was found guilty on June 27 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.
McDonough was the state’s key witness and testified that she saw Mazzaglia strangle Marriott with a rope after Marriott had rebuffed his sexual advances, and as McDonough watched numbly while sitting near a window.
McDonough is serving prison time for hindering prosecution and testified as part of a plea agreement that granted her immunity from charges that could arise from her statements.
In the days immediately following Marriott’s death, she told public defense lawyers – as seen in a video played in court during Mazzaglia’s nearly month-long trial – that Marriott had died of suffocation during rough sex with her and Mazzaglia.
McDonough later changed that story in statements to a grand jury and in court.
Recorded jail calls between Mazzaglia and McDonough in weeks following Marriott’s death also were played during his trial in June, indicating Mazzaglia had reason to know his conversation with his mother last week would be recorded, as well.
He again referred specifically to the Marriott family and Thursday’s sentencing.
“Yeah but I’m gonna have to sit there for an hour and a half listening to them yell and whine and bitch and moan and scream about how I’m a monster who killed someone when I’m not,” he told his mother. “That’s what I’m literally gonna have to listen to for the whole time.”
After an apparent pause in the conversation, Heather Mazzaglia spoke in struggling language about what Lizzi Marriott’s parents have gone through.
“So anyway. Anyway. I’m, I mean you can, they’re, they’re in misery, I mean they’re in agony, their, their daughter is lost. I would be the same if it were you but you know, you have to sympathize with what they’ve lost,” she said.
After Mazzaglia again said that his “preference would be not to attend the sentencing hearing on the 14th,” his mother disagreed.
“I think you have to be there to be sentenced,” she said. “I think they have a right to confront you because the jury found you guilty.”
Mazzaglia 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.