Despite conviction, man denies role in Norwich killing

Jul. 26—Despite expressing remorse, one of the three people convicted for his role in the brutal 2004 beating death of a 56-year-old man in Norwich denied to a parole board on Wednesday that he had anything to do with the crime.

Chad Schaffer, 45, who is nearing the end of a 16-year prison sentence for his role in the May 14, 2004, killing of New Hampshire author and scientist Eugene Mallove, proclaimed his innocence during a virtual hearing before the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Under questioning by board members, Schaffer said he was "not in the right frame of mind," when he confessed to Norwich police that he was at the scene of the crime and participated in beating Mallove with his cousin and girlfriend outside Mallove's childhood home at 119 Salem Turnpike. Police said Schaffer had confronted Mallove, who had evicted Schaffer's parents for failing to pay rent and was cleaning out the home, which he rented to him.

"I stand very firm on the fact I remain innocent in this situation," Schaffer said.

"So were you there?" board member Rufaro Page asked Schaffer.

"No. I was not ma'am," Schaffer said.

"So how did this man wind up dead?" Page said.

"Honestly ma'am, I do not know," Schaffer said.

Schaffer's request for an early release was denied by the three-member panel whose members expressed disappointment in Schaffer's denials.

"Wow. So when you said you were remorseful, what were you remorseful for?" Page asked Schaffer.

"That everyone in this case and everyone in this party had to endure this and had to go through this pain. No one should ever have to have a situation like this happen to them," Schaffer said.

Schaffer's 16-year sentence was the result of a plea agreement in 2012 in the midst of his murder trial. Prosecutors, criticized by Mallove's family about the lenient sentence, expressed concern about an acquittal by the jury. Schaffer has been in prison since his arrest by Norwich police in 2010.

"To hear honestly that you're still denying that you participated in this event, I'm sure to (Mallove's family) will be a slap in the face. I can't imagine that they would be supportive of your request here today," Page said.

Mallove's son and daughter each delivered emotional pleas asking that parole be denied.

"My father's murder is an enduring tragedy. It was an unspeakably cruel and sadistic act," Mallove's son, Ethan Mallove, said. "We are distressed to revisit this horror.

"My father was in the prime of his life at the hands of his murderers. He endured a torturous death and lost everything," Mallove said. "My mother lost her beloved husband of 34 years. My sister and I lost our loving father. My grandmother lost her only son and caregiver. My son, niece and nephews lost their sweet, doting grandfather..."

Schaffer, Schaffer's girlfriend Candace Foster and Schaffer's cousin Mozzelle Brown, all had a hand in beating Mallove and leaving him to die outside Mallove's childhood home turned rental property, testimony revealed.

After beating Mallove, the two men left and returned to the scene with Foster where Foster testified at trial that she was forced to join in the attack to ensure her silence. The trio left in Mallove's van and took his personal belongings in an attempt to make it look like a robbery.

The medical examiner's report revealed that Mallove had sustained dozens of cuts to the face caused by a blunt object, a knife wound and a crushed trachea. Foster also testified that on the night of the killing, she had cleaned Schaffer's bloody shirt with bleach and disposed of his pants in a garbage chute.

Brown was convicted at trial and is serving a 58-year prison sentence for murder. Foster, a key witness for the state's prosecution and mother of Schaffer's two children, was released in 2015. She had pleaded guilty to lesser charges of hindering the prosecution and tampering with evidence.

Eugene Mallove, who living in Pembroke, N.H., at the time of his death, was a former chief science writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for a book he wrote about cold fusion.

The investigation into Mallove's death was complicated by the arrest by Norwich police of two men who were released in 2008 when police realized they had the wrong men. After their release, police formed a task force led by former Norwich Sgt. Corey Poore and detective James Curtis that uncovered new evidence and led to confessions linked to Mallove's death.

Eugene Mallove's daughter, Kim Woodard, spoke through tears at Wednesday's meeting, calling the loss of her father traumatic and the pain long lasting.

"My dad was full of life. He was zany, loved to joke around and act absurd. He was the life of every party. He talked excitedly at every social event about his passion for science. He was brilliant, a voracious reader with an insatiable thirst for knowledge," Woodard said.

Woodard said her father was also sentimental and never sold the Norwich home he grew up in because it was special to him.

"And this fact only adds to the horror of his murder, which happened in a place he loved, where he grew up with adoring parents and played in the yard with his many loving cousins," Woodard said.

The Mallove's Norwich home has since been demolished to make way for road improvements in the area near Interstate 395.