Witness: A smiling Mozzelle Brown simulated Mallove attack days after the scientist's murder in Norwich
Days after physicist Eugene Mallove was fatally beaten in the driveway of his childhood home in Norwich, Mozzelle Brown simulated the attack "with a happy look on his face" and boasted about beating Mallove "beyond recognition," a witness testified Thursday at Brown's murder trial.
Jill Sebastian, who was living with Brown's cousin, Chad Schaffer, and Schaffer's girlfriend, Candace Foster, testified that Brown demonstrated the attack in the living room of their Chestnut Street apartment.
"He was punching and kicking the air," Sebastian testified.
Asked by prosecutor Thomas M. DeLillo to describe Brown's demeanor, she responded that he was "happy, hyped-up and excited."
Like Foster's sister, Lynn Foster, had told the jury a day earlier, Sebastian testified that she knew Brown, Schaffer and Foster were involved in Mallove's death on May 14, 2004, and was prepared to tell the police what she knew if they questioned her. Sebastian did come forward five years later, in 2009, after two men who had been wrongfully charged with Mallove's death were exonerated. She and her boyfriend, Keishon Dullivan, and their four children were taken into a witness protection program during the investigation
Brown, 40, Schaffer, 37, and Foster, 34, were charged with Mallove's death in 2010. Schaffer accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial two years ago and now is serving a 16-year prison sentence. Foster is incarcerated while awaiting trial and is cooperating with the state. Brown has refused to plea bargain with the state and is taking his chances with a jury.
Because the state has minimal physical evidence linking the three defendants to the crime, it is relying on testimony from the defendants' circle of friends as they attempt to prove their case.
Sebastian testified that Foster, a longtime friend, confided the day after the attack that, "Chad beat up the landlord" and that she had lied to police when they came to the apartment earlier that morning. Foster and Schaffer had lived with Schaffer's parents, Pat and Roy Anderson, who had recently been evicted from the Mallove rental home on 119 Salem Turnpike.
Also, Sebastian testified, Schaffer reacted strongly to a TV report about Mallove's death, and Foster showed Sebastian the bloody basketball jersey and pajama pants that Schaffer was wearing that night. A box of items, including a video camera, showed up in the apartment, and Sebastian said she knew they were related to the crime.
Sebastian said her family moved out of the Chestnut Street apartment during the first week of June. Mallove's death was the subject of "conversation after conversation," she said.
"When the police didn't come back, I got scared and wanted to go," Sebastian testified.
While testimony has focused on Mallove's throwing out items belonging to Schaffer's family as a motive for the attack, the state also is offering testimony that Brown and Schaffer were selling crack cocaine out of the Mallove home and may have returned there that day to retrieve drugs.
Sebastian testified that she once saw Brown and Schaffer "bagging up" crack cocaine in the kitchen of the Salem Turnpike home and saw them bringing crack to the garage. She said years earlier she saw Brown selling the drug out of an apartment on Broad Street in Norwich and that Brown and Schaffer also sold crack outside the Chestnut Street apartment.
Brown has a history of narcotics convictions and is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for selling 14 grams of crack cocaine and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver to a confidential informant in April 2008. Norwich police brought Brown from a federal prison in Ohio last year to face murder charges in the Mallove case.
Sebastian will continue testifying when the trial resumes today.
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