Warrant Describes Witness Reports of Fatal Beating in Chaplin

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A man suspected of assaulting another man in Chaplin who later died has been brought back to Connecticut after he was taken into custody in New Hampshire and he is due in court today. The arrest warrant application provides details on what witnesses told police.

Connecticut State Police said 46-year-old Matthew Candler, of New London, was found at the Seabrook Inn in Seabrook, New Hampshire. He is accused of assaulting 51-year-old Jeffrey Rawson.

State police said they received a 911 call at 5:54 a.m. on May 1 reporting Rawson had been assaulted in a home on Miller Road in Chaplin hours earlier.

When police arrived, Rawson was sitting on a blanket on the floor, suffering from trauma to the head, and he was covered in blood, according to the arrest warrant application. A paramedic pronounced him dead at 6:18 a.m., according to police.

Witnesses told police they had been hanging out on April 30, having a good time, drinking and “smoking weed” and there were no issues throughout the night.

One witness reported waking around midnight to rumbling and yelling and saw Candler punch the victim, hit him in the head with a lamp and stomp on him, according to the arrest warrant application.  

Police said a witness in Bethel, Maine who was aware of the search for Candler saw a man in a truck matching the description and a Maine state police investigator said Candler went to a home in Woodstock, Maine and tried to get a person to modify the appearance of his truck, but the witnesses refused, according to the arrest warrant application.

The witness went on to tell police that Candler said something really bad happened in Connecticut and he he did not know the person who died.

According to the arrest warrant application, Candler was seen in Salisbury, Massachusetts, where he abandoned the truck. Then, on May 3, police received a tip that a cab driver had dropped someone matching the suspect’s description off at a hotel in Seabrook, New Hampshire and police took him into custody at 1 p.m.

Candler has been charged with three counts of assault in the first degree.

He was detained on a $500,000 bond and is due in court on Tuesday.

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