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Chaplin homicide suspect back in CT; warrant released

Matthew Hampton Candler.
Matthew Hampton Candler.(Connecticut State Police)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 9:53 AM EDT
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DANIELSON, CT (WFSB) - Detectives traveled to a correctional facility in New Hampshire to extradite a man wanted in connection with a homicide in Chaplin.

Matthew Hampton Candler, 46, of New London, was being held at the Rockingham County Correctional Facility in Brentwood, NH when detectives picked him up on Monday.

He was brought back to Connecticut on the strength of an arrest warrant out of Danielson Superior Court.

So far, Candler has only been charged with first-degree assault.

According to his arrest warrant, state police responded to a 911 call on May 1 from an address on Miller Road in Chaplin. The caller reported that a man, later identified as 51-year-old Jeffrey Rawson, was assaulted inside a home.

Rawson was found in the living room of the home when troopers arrived. He appeared to have blunt force trauma to his head, and lacerations and contusions all over his body.

Troopers said that the injuries look like they were caused by nearby objects, such as broken furniture and a lamp. Some of the items had blood on them.

Three witnesses were in the home at the time of the incident.

One of them told troopers that Candler, Rawson, and everyone else in the home had been hanging out in the kitchen area on April 30. They had been drinking and smoking weed, the witness said.

At some point that night, the witness reported waking up to rumbling and yelling. He found Rawson on the ground with Candler punching him in the face and hitting him with a lamp.

At least one of the witnesses reported getting punched by Candler as well, though that person was not seriously hurt.

None of the witnesses were able to say what led up to Candler’s behavior.

Rawson was pronounced dead by a paramedic at Windham Hospital on May 1.

Candler had fled in a 1989 Ford F-350 with Minnesota plates earlier in the morning, state police said.

Reports surfaced that he was spotted in Bethel, ME and Salisbury, MA. Investigators located the pickup truck abandoned in Salisbury on May 2.

On May 3, a cab driver reported that he dropped someone off matching Candler’s description at a hotel in Seabrook, NH. He was taken into custody at the Seabrook Inn Motel.

Candler was given a court date of May 10 in Danielson.