DOVER, N.H. -- A man who was convicted of raping and killing a University of New Hampshire student and said he didn’t want to listen to the victim’s family "yell and whine" at his sentencing hearing about what a monster he is has dropped his bid to skip the hearing.
After an hour-long court session on Tuesday and nearly 40 minutes after court had adjourned, lawyers for Seth Mazzaglia withdrew their motion contending that he had a right to skip Thursday’s sentencing.
Mazzaglia was convicted in June of first-degree murder and other felonies in the October 2012 death of 19-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, of Westborough, Massachusetts, after she rebuffed his sexual advances. His ex-girlfriend testified he strangled Marriott from behind with a rope and then raped her motionless body at his Dover apartment.
Prosecutor Peter Hinckley argued the 31-year-old Mazzaglia should be compelled to attend the sentencing hearing.
"Suffice it to say there are multiple interests at stake -- the court’s, the public’s, the victim’s family and the defendant’s," Hinckley told Strafford County Superior Court Judge Steven Horan.
Mazzaglia’s 11th-hour withdrawal cancels the need for a ruling.
Hinckley said Mazzaglia told his mother in a recorded prison phone conversation that he may claim his lawyers were inadequate, and the prosecutor argued that was another reason to mandate his presence at sentencing.
After court, Marriott’s mother, Melissa Marriott, said she wasn’t surprised by Mazzaglia’s comment to his mother.
"He’s just a selfish coward, and he really does not care about anybody else," she said.
She called his motion "a self-serving attempt to avoid being held publicly accountable for Lizzi’s murder and rape" and said it was "a cowardly attempt to avoid facing us, the victims of his horrific crimes."
The key witness at Mazzaglia’s trial, 20-year-old Kathryn McDonough, was his girlfriend when she lured Lizzi Marriott to their apartment as appeasement to him and to join their sexual escapades, which included bondage and discipline.
McDonough first told investigators that Marriott died during rough sex between the two women that involved restraints. After getting immunity from prosecution, McDonough said Mazzaglia strangled Marriott and then raped her.
Marriott’s body, which prosecutors say was dumped in a river, has never been found.
McDonough pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and is spending 1 1/2 to 3 years in prison.