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Mother, son remain in jail on murder-for-hire charges

Union Leader Correspondent

August 07. 2017 8:38PM
Pauline Chase, 83, of Plainfield appears in a wheelchair during her probable cause hearing in Claremont District Court on Monday. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Correspondent)


CLAREMONT — A Plainfield man and his mother appeared in district court in Claremont Monday for probable cause hearings over charges they plotted to murder a woman.

Maurice Temple, 63, and his mother Pauline Chase, 83, both of 455 Old Country Road, are facing three charges each — conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder and attempt to commit murder — for an alleged plot to kill Temple’s ex-wife, Jean Temple, on or between June 20 and July 27.

Monday afternoon, after a lengthy probable cause hearing for Temple and a brief hearing in which Chase’s attorney requested a closed bail hearing for her client, both were returned to jail in lieu of $1 million bail for the alleged murder-for-hire scheme.

Temple owed his ex-wife nearly $18,000 following their divorce and was arrested in June for not making payments, per-court order, to her. Prosecutors allege Mark Horne was approached by Chase to murder Temple’s ex-wife while Temple was in jail in June. Prosecutors allege after Horne had several conversations with Chase — some with Temple present — Chase gave Horne $5,000 cash with a promise of more.

When Plainfield Police Chief Paul Roberts took the stand he said Horne was first called by Chase the same day Horne and Jean Temple, both firefighters in town, attended the fire chief’s retirement party.

Horne reported to police that Chase had asked him to kill Jean Temple for compensation and police then proceeded to record several phone conversations between Horne and Chase as well as video tape in-person conversations with Chase, some with Maurice Temple present.

These audio and video recordings were presented during Temple’s probable cause hearing.

Chase is heard saying Jean Temple is “money hungry” and that she made her son miserable during their marriage.

“She made all those years miserable,” Chase says in a recording.

Horne asked Chase several times if she was sure what she wanted.

“We’re talking dead dead. She’s going to be gone,” Horne said to her in one conversation.

He also asked in many of the early conversations if Maurice Temple was “on board,” with the plan.

In many of the conversations Chase is seen and or heard laughing about the murder and asked in one, “Got a meat grinder?” when asking about how Horne would dispose of the body. She also asked more than once if it would be dumped in the ocean.

In conversations in which Maurice Temple is present his mother does most of the talking. In his first appearance in a video he asked Horne if he is being set up and searched Horne for a wire. He also said if anything happened to his ex-wife he would be the first person questioned by police.

When Roberts was cross-examined by Temple’s attorney, Donna Brown, she asked why police continued to investigate after Chase is recorded handing $5,000 cash over to Horne and asked if it was because police wanted to set Maurice Temple up.

Roberts said Maurice Temple can be seen sitting at the table in the video of the money transaction.

“I would say no, we didn’t set anybody up,” Roberts said.

Brown then attempted to call Horne as a witness, but Sullivan County Assistant Attorney Justin Hersh objected and the attorneys approached the bench to have a private conference with District Court Judge John Yazinski.

At this point it was after 4 p.m., when the courthouse closes. After the private conference Yazinski said the probable cause hearing would be continued to Thursday.

Chase was then brought before the court for her probable cause hearing but instead her attorney Jennifer Cohen asked Yazinski for a closed bail hearing in which he would be asked to reconsider Chase’s bail conditions.

Chase who appears standing and walking in the video recordings attended the hearing in a wheelchair.

Yazinski denied a closed bail hearing, but said the attorneys could approach the bench. After the private conference, Yazinski said he would take the bail change request into consideration and ended his hearing with Chase.

Courts Crime Claremont Plainfield

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