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On May 14, 2004, prominent scientist Eugene Mallove lay on the ground bleeding and begging for help when his assailants returned to the crime scene with the intent of "making it look like a robbery" and continued their attack, according to testimony Tuesday in New London Superior Court.
Candace L. Foster, a 30-year-old mother of two who is charged as an accessory in Mallove's murder, provided a chilling account of the crime when she took the witness stand Tuesday at an evidentiary hearing for her former boyfriend, Chad Schaffer.
Foster, who is being held at the Janet S. York Correctional Institution in lieu of $2.5 millon bond, said she was testifying because she is hoping for leniency in her own case. Foster is 4 feet, 11 inches tall, and from Schaffer's vantage point at the defense table, only her red head and part of her face were visible as she detailed how he physically abused her, forced her to take part in the crime and scared her into silence until she entered a state witness-protection program in June 2009.
Norwich police charged Foster and Schaffer with Mallove's murder on April 1 after reopening the investigation when a New London judge dismissed murder charges against two men initially accused of fatally beating Mallove in the driveway of his mother's home at 119 Salem Turnpike.
Mallove, a 56-year-old physicist and author, had traveled from New Hampshire to clean the property. Schaffer and Foster had once lived there with Schaffer's parents, Pat and Roy Anderson, who had been evicted by Mallove.
Details of the case had not been made public before Tuesday, since police say they are still investigating and may make additional arrests. Schaffer has exercised his right to a probable-cause hearing within 60 days of his arrest, and Judge Susan B. Handy is listening to testimony before ruling on whether there is "probable cause" that the crime occurred and that Schaffer had committed the crime. The victim's adult son, Ethan Mallove, and the two men initially charged in the crime were in the courtroom as prosecutor Paul J. Narducci led Foster through her story.
Foster said Schaffer left their Chestnut Street apartment that day after receiving several phone calls from his mother, who was upset that somebody was at the home throwing away their possessions. Foster said Schaffer came home with blood on his shirt and boots and told her he needed her to go somewhere. Schaffer's cousin, Mozelle Brown, drove them to the property, Foster said. They smoked marijuana and the men said they "had to make it look like a robbery."
They approached the Mallove property from a path that ran from the adjacent parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant. Mallove was lying on the driveway, face down, and "there was blood," Foster said.
"Chad and Mozelle turned him over on his back," Foster testified. "Blood spurted from his mouth. He said, 'Help me.'''
The two men pulled off Mallove's watch, shirt and shoes, Foster said.
"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 her in the face and told her she had to hit Mallove so that she "could not tell on him," Foster testified.
"Did you?" asked Narducci. "Yes," Foster responded.
The men then picked up a long, "tube-type object" and struck Mallove in the face "so he could be unrecognizable," Schaffer testified. Foster said that Schaffer told her to drive Mallove's minivan from the scene and that she followed Brown and Schaffer to a parking lot for employees of Foxwoods Resort Casino. She said they returned home, where she used bleach to clean Schaffer's clothing.
Foster testified that when police came to their apartment the next day, she lied and told them she and Schaffer were home all night, with their son, watching movies. She said she continued to lie in subsequent interviews, but eventually decided she should "do the right thing." Under cross-examination by defense attorney Bruce A. McIntyre, she admitted she wants to get out of prison and regain custody of her children, who were turned over to the Department of Children and Families upon her arrest.
Foster was not the only witness who kept silent, according to Tuesday's court hearing. Keishon Dullivan, who lived with Schaffer and Foster, testified that when he and his girlfriend returned to the Chestnut Street apartment May 15 after a stay in East Hartford, they saw a television report about Mallove's murder. He said Schaffer got upset and went to his bedroom.
"I knew he assaulted the guy," Dullivan said. "I asked him, 'Did you do this?' He never told me yes. He didn't deny it."
Dullivan said he did not go to police because Schaffer was his friend.
"I told him, when stuff like this happens, you gotta clean your tracks up," Dullivan testified. "He said, 'The cops already came. I'm good.'"
Schaffer told him he had gone to the Mallove house because "his mother's stuff was getting thrown out and his cousin (Brown) had some drugs in the back of the garage," Dullivan testified.
Also testifying Tuesday was Norwich Detective Darren Powers, a patrolman at the time of the murder, who described arriving at the scene at about 11 that night. He said a fire official approached him and said he thought a homicide had occurred. In the back of the white, cape-style home, Mallove lay on the ground near a trash bin, 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 apartment at 5:45 a.m. and spoke with them. Schaffer and Foster said they were home with one of their children the previous night and 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.
On April 1, Poore 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, Poore said he had talked to Foster almost daily when she was in the 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, said they would return to court when the hearing resumes next month. Both men were in prison on unrelated charges while their murder cases were pending and have since been released.