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Candace L. Foster, charged with her former boyfriend in the 2004 murder of physicist Eugene Mallove, testified today that her former boyfriend brought her to the crime scene and forced her to strike the critically injured Mallove as he lay on the ground bleeding.
Foster said she went to 119 Salem Turnpike in Norwich with Chad Schaffer and a man named Mozelle Brown after Schaffer returned to their Chestnut Street apartment with blood on his shirt and told her he needed her to go somewhere. Brown drove Schaffer and Foster to the house, where they had once lived with Schaffer's parents. Mallove, who had traveled from New Hampshire to clean out the property for his mother, was lying on the driveway, face down, Foster said, and "there was blood."
"Chad and Mozelle turned him over on his back," Foster testified. "Blood spurted from his mouth. He said, 'Help me.' ''
The two men, who had told her they had to make the scene "look like a robbery," pulled off Mallove's watch, shirt and shoes, Foster testified.
"They stomped him in the face and suffocated him," she said. "They put, like, a bag over his face."
Schaffer, the father of her two children, then struck Foster in the face and told her she had to hit Mallove, Foster testified.
"Did you?" asked prosecutor Paul J. Narducci. "Yes," Foster responded. She said Schaffer told her she had to hit Mallove so that she would not tell on him.
Norwich police charged Foster and Schaffer with the murder on April 1 after reopening the investigation when a New London judge dismissed murder charges against two men initially charged with fatally beating Mallove in the driveway of his mother's home. The police say the investigation is continuing and there may be more arrests.
Foster's dramatic testimony came during a probable-cause hearing for Schaffer. Defendants in murder cases are entitled to such a hearing within 60 days of their arrest. Foster waived her right to a probable-cause hearing, while Schaffer, 32, has opted to go ahead with his hearing.
The state is presenting its case to Judge Susan B. Handy, who will determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Schaffer for murder. Foster said she hopes to receive leniency in her own case in exchange for her cooperation.
The state called four witnesses Tuesday and expects to call at least one more person when the hearing resumes on June 24.
On the witness stand, Foster, a 4-foot, 11-inch redhead, was barely visible from where Schaffer sat with his attorney. She broke down several times during the testimony and repeatedly had to be told to speak up.
Foster testified that she and Schaffer once lived at the Salem Turnpike home with Schaffer's parents, Pat and Roy Anderson, who rented from the Malloves. She said the parents were evicted and that on May 14, 2004, Schaffer's mother called him, upset, because another relative had driven by the property and seen somebody throwing their belongings into a Dumpster.
Foster testified that she had helped Schaffer cover up the crime for years because she was afraid of him. She said she entered into a witness-protection program in June 2009 and finally told police the truth, because she "wanted to do the right thing."
The prosecutor also called two Norwich detectives to the witness stand and introduced crime-scene photos and the autopsy report.
Detective Darren Powers, who was a patrolman at the time of the murder, described arriving at the scene at about 11 p.m. on May 14, 2004. He said a fire official approached him and said he thought a homicide had occurred. In the back of the white cape, Mallove lay on the ground near a Dumpster, face up, with blood around his head and neck
A woman who had found the body and called police was sitting in her car in the driveway, talking on her cell phone to Mallove's wife, Joanne, Powers said. Powers took the phone and told Mrs. Mallove he would call her back when he had more information.
Detective Corey Poore testified that he was called out to the scene that night.
"I was familiar with the property based on previous contact with Chad Schaffer and his then-girlfriend, Candace Foster," Poore testified.
Poore said he went to their Chestnut Street apartment at 5:45 a.m. and spoke with them. Schaffer and Foster said they were home with their child the previous night and they were watching movies. Poore said he asked Schaffer to show him the clothes he had been wearing and that Schaffer showed them a yellow shirt and a pair of jeans.
"I was looking for blood," Poore said.
In January 2009, after the investigation was reopened, Poore said he interviewed Foster at her home on Geer Avenue. Schaffer and another man, Roy Anderson, were present. Schaffer left with two other detectives while Poore took a statement from Foster at her kitchen table. They also swabbed Foster's cheek for DNA testing.
As the investigation continued, "We interviewed various witnesses and developed information," Poore said. "We collected various evidence and took statements."
On April 1, he said he went to Schaffer's home to talk to him and was wearing a recording device. Schaffer was upset and defensive, but wanted to talk, Poore said. He eventually went to the police department, spoke to detectives some more, and left again before he and Foster were charged later that day.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Bruce A. McIntyre, Poore said he had talked to Foster almost daily and alluded to her being in a witness-protection program.
"We wanted to make sure she was OK and was taking care of her kids," Poore said. "At that point, she was in the witness-protection program. We felt responsible for her and wanted to make sure she was safe."
The two men initially charged in the murders, Joseph Reilly and Gary McAvoy, watched the proceedings from the audience. Both men were in prison on unrelated charges while their murder cases were pending and have since been released.