The ex-girlfriend of a man accused of strangling a 19-year-old Massachusetts woman will be back on the witness stand on Thursday.

Kathryn McDonough broke down while testifying in the trial of Seth Mazzaglia in Dover, New Hampshire. He’s accused of murdering U.N.H. student Lizzie Marriott in October of 2012 after she refused his sexual advances in his apartment.

McDonough testified that she watched as Mazzaglia strangled Marriott, then once she was unconscious he sexually assaulted her.

When asked if she tried to stop Mazzaglia, McDonough said, “I didn’t have anywhere I could go and I loved him and I didn’t want to lose him.”

McDonough is facing less than three years behind bars as part of a plea deal in exchange for her testimony against Mazzaglia. Defense attorneys say she’s exaggerating her story to get a lighter prison term.

“As she becomes more and more important to the prosecutors case, the deal gets sweeter and sweeter,” said WBZ legal analyst Harry Manion. “It’s unsettling to the public and to people who are not accustomed to the rough and tumble of plea bargains and how the justice system actually works.”

What do you think of McDonough’s plea deal? Is she getting off too easy, or is it a fair deal in return for her testimony against Mazzaglia? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.


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