Appeal notice filed for man sentenced to life for raping, murdering student

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CONCORD, New Hampshire — Lawyers for a man sentenced to life without parole for raping and killing a University of New Hampshire student have filed a mandatory notice of appeal, raising questions about evidence that was excluded and testimony that was allowed saying he was prone to homicidal rages and threats.

Seth Mazzaglia received the maximum sentence on Aug. 14 for the Oct. 9, 2012, killing of 19-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott of Westborough, Massachusetts.

In court, Mazzaglia, 31, denied raping and killing Marriott but said he helped cover up her murder.

Mazzaglia was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in June. The key witness, Kathryn McDonough, testified she lured Marriott to Mazzaglia's apartment as a sexual offering for her domineering boyfriend and he strangled Marriott when she resisted his advances.

McDonough is serving 1 1/2 to 3 years in prison for hindering prosecution and witness tampering.

The appeal notice, filed Friday, raises eight questions to be argued before the state supreme court. Among them are whether the trial court was wrong to exclude evidence currently under seal that was "crucial" to Mazzaglia's defense and to include a witness' grand jury testimony.

Other questions specifically ask whether the judge was wrong by not declaring a mistrial after McDonough testified Mazzaglia made prior homicidal threats, and that another witness, Roberta Gerkin, testified he was prone to homicidal rages. Gerkin, a friend, was called to Mazzaglia's apartment after Marriott was killed.

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