Judge keeps bond amounts high for defendants in Mallove murder

A man and woman charged in the murder of prominent scientist Eugene Mallove in Norwich six years ago made their first court appearances Monday and were ordered held on high bonds.

Chad M. Schaffer, 32, a restaurant worker, vehemently proclaimed his innocence to television cameras and his attorney. He will remain incarcerated on a $10 million bond on charges of murder, first-degree robbery and felony murder.

Candace Foster will be held on $2.5 million bond on charges of accessory to murder, first-degree robbery and felony murder. The 30-year-old Foster was supporting a 1-year-old and 6-year-old child at the time of her arrest.

The 56-year-old Mallove, who lived in Pembroke, N.H., was found beaten to death near a Dumpster in the driveway of his mother's house at 119 Salem Turnpike on May 14, 2004. The cause of death was a crushed trachea. Mallove, a well-regarded physicist, was editor-in-chief of Infinite Energy magazine and had championed cold fusion.

Norwich police and members of a cold-case task force built a new case after a judge in November 2008 dismissed charges against two men who were initially arrested for Mallove's murder. In February 2009, Gov. M. Jodi Rell authorized a $50,000 reward in the case.

The arrest-warrant affidavits detailing the cases against Schaffer and Foster have been sealed for two weeks, and police say they expect to make more arrests.

Mallove's widow, Joanne Mallove, said Friday that she believed Schaffer and Foster had rented the Salem Turnpike home and had been told by Eugene Mallove that they had to move out. She said her husband had been "a bit concerned" about the home's occupants. He was cleaning out the home on the day he was killed and had refused his wife's offer of help.

Police said Schaffer was a "person of interest" early on, but they had only recently obtained sufficient evidence to charge him. On Thursday, police charged Foster before obtaining a warrant for Schaffer's arrest.

"The Norwich Police Department did an excellent job of working on this case for a long time now, basically re-opening and re-looking at an investigation," Chief State's Attorney Kevin T. Kane said.

Kane handled the Mallove case while he was a state's attorney in New London and had kept the case upon his promotion. He decided to "nolle," or not prosecute, the charges against Gary McAvoy and Joseph Reilly, the two men initially charged with murdering Mallove, after physical evidence failed to prove their guilt. Judge Susan B. Handy dismissed the charges, and the two men, who were serving sentences for unrelated crimes, have both been released from prison.

At Monday's court appearance, Norwich Judge Robert E. Young kept in place the bond amounts that were initially set by the judges signing the arrest warrants. Young said he kept the initial bonds "given the serious nature of the offense" and, in Schaffer's case, because he had a previous conviction for threatening, which the judge said he considers a violent crime.

Schaffer also was convicted of violation of a restraining order and violation of probation. Foster has no criminal record. The judge transferred the cases to the higher-level court in New London, where Schaffer will appear April 12 and Foster on April 13.

Attorney Thomas W. Teixeira represented Schaffer at his initial court appearance, but is not likely to be retained to defend him as the case moves forward, since Schaffer, who worked at the Engine Six pizza restaurant, may not have the means to afford a private attorney.

Teixeira said the $10 million bond was excessive and that "far less" would ensure his client's appearance in court.

"The average person who works in Norwich would have to work 200 years to come up with that kind of money," Teixeira said.

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