Chad M. Schaffer, imprisoned since April 2010 on charges that he murdered physicist Eugene Mallove in Norwich in 2004, has filed a speedy trial motion and will go on trial beginning in mid-February.
Schaffer’s attorney, Bruce A. McIntyre, filed the motion today in New London Superior Court. Under state law, a defendant who has been incarcerated for at least eight months may demand that his case begin trial within 30 days. During Schaffer’s court appearance this morning, Judge Patrick J. Clifford told him jury selection would begin the second or third week of February before Judge Barbara B. Jongbloed in Norwich.
The Schaffer trial is expected to take place in Norwich because another cold case, that of Dickie Anderson Jr., will be on trial in New London Superior Court, where there is only one trial judge and one secure courtroom for major crimes. Anderson is accused of killing two women, Renee Pellegrino and Michelle Comeau, in 1996 and 1997. Jury selection in that case is scheduled to begin in New London on Feb. 6.
Mallove, a 56-year-old renowned scientist from New Hampshire, was found beaten to death in the driveway of his Norwich rental property at 119 Salem Turnpike. Charges against two men who were initially charged with the murder were dismissed after extensive testing on physical evidence failed to establish their guilt.
Norwich and state police reopened the case and in June 2009 took three key witnesses into the state’s witness protection program. By April of 2010, police obtained arrests warrants for Schaffer, a 34-year-old former restaurant worker, and his former girlfriend, Candace L. Foster, who are both being held in prison in lieu of bond. The police have obtained a warrant for a third defendant, Mozzelle Brown, but he is serving a 15-year federal prison term in California and has not yet been charged.
According to court documents, Foster told police she and Schaffer had once lived at the Mallove property with Schaffer's parents, Pat and Roy Anderson, who had been evicted. Foster said Schaffer left their Chestnut Street apartment on May 14, 2004 after receiving several phone calls from his mother, who was upset that somebody was at the home throwing away their possessions. Mallove had traveled from his New Hampshire home to clean out the property.
Foster said Schaffer came home with blood on his shirt and boots and told her he needed her to go somewhere. Schaffer's cousin, Brown, drove them to the property, Foster said. They smoked marijuana and the men said they "had to make it look like a robbery." When they arrived at the scene, Foster said Mallove lay on the ground bleeding and begging for help, and Schaffer forced her to take part in the crime so that she would not report him to police.