Woman involved in Mallove killing is out of prison for now

Candace L. Foster, who admitted to taking part in the beating death of physicist Eugene Mallove while cooperating with the state’s prosecution of the two main assailants, was released from prison Thursday on a written promise to appear in court. 

The 34-year-old mother of two has been held on murder charges at the Janet S. York Correctional Institution since April 2010. Prior to her arrest, she had entered into a witness protection program and provided information to Norwich and state police that enabled them to charge her longtime boyfriend, Chad M. Schaffer, and his cousin, Mozzelle Brown, in Mallove’s death. 

With little physical evidence to tie the two men to the case, the state relied on Foster to provide a first-hand account of the crime at the trials of Schaffer and Brown. Both men were convicted. 

Judge Hillary B. Strackbein granted defense attorney Richard F. Kelly’s oral motion to reduce his client’s $2.5 million bond during an appearance in New London Superior Court. Foster is required to obey a number of conditions while free on bond and will return to court in February for further discussion of a resolution to the case. 

After the hearing Kelly said that, at this point, Foster’s role in the crime is “like an open book.” 

“She really didn’t have much, in a causation sense, to do with his (Mallove’s) death,” Kelly said. “I think any reasonable person would understand that.” 

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Paul J. Narducci said he did not object to Foster’s release. 

“There was a tremendous change of circumstances because of her testimony and her cooperation,” Narducci said. 

The state made no promises to Foster in exchange for her testimony, but called to her attention that consideration is sometimes given for fair and accurate testimony, Narducci said. 

Mallove, a prominent science writer from New Hampshire, was fatally beaten in the driveway of his family home at 119 Salem Turnpike on May 14, 2004. Investigators initially arrested two men who turned out to be innocent, then honed in on Brown, Foster and Schaffer, whose parents had recently been evicted from the Mallove property for nonpayment of rent. 

Foster said Schaffer, the father of her children, returned to their Chestnut Street, Norwich, apartment with blood on his clothing that night and told her to go with him. Brown picked them up and drove them to the Mallove property with a plan to make the assault “look like a robbery,” she testified. 

Mallove, already badly beaten, was lying in the driveway and begged for help as the two men continued the attack. They kicked Mallove, punched him and struck him in the head with a pipe and Schaffer put a bag over his face, Foster said. 

At that point, she said, Schaffer told her she had to hit Mallove so that she couldn’t tell anyone about the crime. She said she started to leave, but Schaffer struck her in the face, causing her nose to bleed. She said she hit Mallove with the pipe and kicked him a number of times. 

Schaffer pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the midst of his trial two years ago and is serving a 16-year prison sentence. Brown was convicted following a trial in October and faces up to 80 years in prison when he is sentenced in January. 

Foster’s attorney said she has participated in programs on physical and sexual abuse and making lifestyle changes while incarcerated, obtained her high school equivalency diploma and become a mentor for other inmates. 

k.florin@theday.com 

Twitter: @KFLORIN

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