Published May 25. 2010 1:23PM Updated May 25. 2010 1:36PM
Candace L. Foster, one of two people charged with the May 2004 murder of physicist Eugene Mallove, is expected to testify in New London Superior Court this afternoon as a probable cause hearing continues for her former boyfriend, Chad Schaffer.
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 at 119 Salem Turnpike in Norwich.
Foster, 30, has waived her right to a probable cause hearing, while Schaffer, 32, has opted to go ahead with the evidentiary hearing.
As the proceeding got underway this morning before Judge Susan B. Handy, prosecutor Paul J. Narducci called two Norwich detectives to the witness stand and introduced crime scene photos and the autopsy report.
Handy will listen to the state's evidence before ruling on whether there is "probable cause" that the crime occurred and that Schaffer had committed the crime.
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 the head and neck. Mallove had traveled from New Hampshire that weekend to clean up his mother's property.
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.
Foster and Schaffer, who rented the house, had been told by Mallove that they had to vacate the property. They were living on Chestnut Street when the murder occurred. Poore said he went to their 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 proceeding from the audience. Both men were in prison on unrelated charges while their murder cases were pending and have since been released.