Second man in 2004 Norwich fatal beating to go on trial Tuesday

Attorneys for the prosecution and defense of Mozzelle Brown, who goes on trial Tuesday for the 2004 beating death of physicist Eugene Mallove in Norwich, are refining their cases in a flurry of pretrial motions.

Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed will rule before and during the trial on motions that determine how evidence is presented to the jury of 12 regular members and four alternates.

The 56-year-old New Hampshire scientist was beaten to death on May 14, 2004, as he cleaned out his childhood home on Salem Turnpike in Norwich. The 40-year-old Brown, one of three charged in connection with the homicide, was retrieved earlier this year from federal prison, where he is serving a 15-year sentence for drug and firearm offenses, and brought to Connecticut to face murder and robbery charges.

Jongbloed has denied defense attorney Richard C. Marquette’s bid to suppress a statement Brown gave to police that indicated he drove by the crime scene and saw Mallove several times on the day of the crime. She granted, in part, a defense motion to preclude the use of the world “murder” during the trial, ruling that the prosecution can use the word only during its closing arguments. She denied a defense motion to preclude the state from referring to the victim as “doctor,” which Marquette had claimed would raise sympathy for him. Mallove had a doctoral degree.

Prosecutors Paul J. Narducci and Thomas M. DeLillo want to elicit testimony from Brown’s cousin, Chad M. Schaffer, who is serving a 16-year prison sentence for his role in the crime. But attorney Joseph A. Jaumann has filed a motion to quash the state’s subpoena because, Jaumann claims, Schaffer’s potentially self-incriminating testimony could hurt him in a habeas corpus appeal he has filed.

The state alleges Brown and Schaffer attacked Mallove because he was throwing out items that belonged to Schaffer’s parents, who recently had been evicted from the house. The state also plans to call a witness who will testify that Brown and Schaffer returned to the property that day in part because they kept crack cocaine at the property.

According to testimony at earlier hearings, the two men left the critically injured Mal­love and returned later with Schaffer’s girlfriend, Candace Foster, who said Schaffer forced her to participate in the continued beating of Mal­love as he pleaded for help.

Police charged two other men with the crime in 2005, but dismissed the charges and reopened their investigation in 2008 after the case against the initial suspects fell apart. Schaffer went on trial in 2012 and, based on problems with the case, the state offered him the option to plead guilty, mid-trial, to a reduced charge of manslaughter.

Foster, who is charged with Mallove’s murder but continues to cooperate with the state with the hope of leniency, remains incarcerated at the Janet S. York Correctional Institution in Niantic. The defense is seeking to preclude her testimony or, if not, to be able to introduce an interview with another witness in which detective James Curtis referred to Foster as a pathological liar.

The prosecution has asked the judge to prohibit the defense from trying to impeach, or discredit, several state witnesses, three of whom have misdemeanor convictions and a fourth who has a felony burglary conviction from 1986.

k.florin@theday.com

TWITTER: @KFLORIN

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