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Dover murder suspect Mazzaglia will turn over handwriting samples

Union Leader Correspondent

September 08. 2013 9:39PM
Seth Mazzaglia, 30, appeared in Strafford County Superior Court in June for a preliminary pre-trial conference. Mazzaglia is accused of strangling and/or suffocating University of New Hampshire sophomore Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott, 19, in his apartment on Oct. 9. (FILE PHOTO)

DOVER — Murder suspect Seth Mazzaglia, 30, of Dover has agreed to turn over samples of his handwriting at the request of the state.

Mazzaglia is facing murder charges for allegedly strangling and/or suffocating Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott, 19, in his apartment the night of Oct. 9 before, during or after committing aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Jury selection in the trial against Mazzaglia is tentatively scheduled to begin on May 5, 2014.

A judge granted the state’s motion compelling Mazzaglia to submit his handwriting for forensic examination on Aug. 19.

The state based its request on recent letters it received in which Mazzaglia had written to co-conspirator Kathryn “Kat” McDonough.

In the letters Mazzaglia, among other things, sets forth a detailed false account of the events that transpired with Marriott and directs McDonough to commit it to memory, according to court records.

He also allegedly attempts to frame friend Paul Hickok for Marriott’s murder, and Hickok and Roberta Gerkin for disposing of Marriott’s body and other evidence.

According to court records, Mazzaglia later said he dumped Marriott’s body off Peirce Island in Portsmouth the night of the crime. Marriott’s body has never been recovered.

In the letters, Mazzaglia also allegedly discussed plots to kill Gerkin, who with Hickok, saw a dead and partially clad woman in Mazzaglia’s Mill Street apartment the night of Marriott’s murder after being summonsed and escorted their by McDonough, according to the motion.

Mazzaglia also allegedly discusses plans to flee the United States and hide out in a country without a U.S. extradition treaty.

Mazzaglia was arrested on Oct. 12 and charged with Marriott’s murder, three days after the University of New Hampshire sophomore was reported missing by her family. He has been held without bail in county jail since then.

The state is seeking handwriting samples to help prove Mazzaglia wrote the letters.

In July, McDonough pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court to hindering apprehension, conspiracy to commit hindering apprehension and witness tampering.

She received a reduced sentence of 1½ to 3 years in prison, presumably in exchange for cooperating with the state in the Strafford County case against Mazzaglia.

Mazzaglia’s defense has until Oct. 2 to file any motions to suppress evidence. So far, the defense has received over 4,000 pages of discovery, according to court records.

The defense was granted a motion to depose New Hampshire State Police Trooper Joseph Ebert, who led a 10-hour interview with Mazzaglia between Oct. 12 and 13 that spanned Newington, Portsmouth, Dover and Durham.

Crime, law and justice Dover Durham

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