NH mother and son arraigned in court for plotting to kill son's ex-wife
PLAINFIELD — A New Hampshire mother and son accused of planning to hire a hit-man to kill the son's ex-wife were arraigned in Claremont Circuit Court Friday afternoon.
Pauline Chase, 83, of Plainfield, and her son Maurice Temple, 64, of Plainfield, faced charges of conspiracy to commit murder, principle/accomplice criminal solicitation to commit murder, and principle/accomplice to attempt to commit murder.
Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway told reporters, "The allegations are essentially that there was an effort on the part of Ms. Chase and Mr. Temple to hire someone to cause the death of Mr. Temple's estranged ex-wife, Jean Temple."
According to court documents, Chase and Maurice approached Mark Horne, 64, about eliminating Jean during the period between June 20 and July 27, 2017.
Right away, Chase allegedly asked Horne "How much it would cost to get rid of Jean?"
Following that initial discussion, Maurice and Chase conversed with Horne on multiple occasions discussing the details of how Horne would carry out the deed and what proper compensation would cost. Police reported that Maurice even searched and questioned Horne about wearing a wire during their conversations one or more times.
After planning everything out, Chase, with Maurice present, allegedly paid Horne approximately $5,000 "as a down payment" for murdering Jean.
According to police and court documents, Horne revealed the plot to Plainfield law enforcement and assisted in the investigation to charge Chase and Maurice.
They were arraigned in court July, 28 on the charges related to the murder for hire. Judge Jack Yazinski accepted Attorney Hathaway's proposal for $1,000,000.00 cash bail for each defendant as well as conditions for protecting Horne, Jean, and their respective families if Chase and Maurice posted bail.
In addition to the conspiracy to commit murder charge and those related to it, Maurice Temple also faces charges for contempt of court and resisting arrest due to a previous case involving money owed to Jean after their divorce in 2009.
Back on June 4, 2014, Maurice was ordered by court to pay Jean's outstanding attorney's fees. At the time, the court told Maurice he must pay Jean $17,990.00 to cover the attorney costs owed to her.
Maurice refused to abide by the agreement, and he did not give any money to Jean over the subsequent few years until January 31, 2017.
In January, Jean filed a petition to Clarement Circuit Court due to Maurice's continued failure to follow through with the court-ordered payments.
In that case, Maurice argued that he could not afford the costs because his monthly income was only $1,377.66. However, Jean revealed to the court that Maurice's business income exceed $200,000 a year, but he deducted $150,000 in depreciation expenses in 2014, as well as $105,000 in 2015.
Judge Yazinski granted Jean's motion for contempt and ordered Maurice to pay $500 monthly toward the previously agreed upon debt of $17,990 as well as the attorney fees Jean incurred during the contempt for court petition.
Maurice failed to pay the monthly sum, and he received another court order May, 5, and if Maurice did not make payments, then a capias would be issued for his arrest.
Despite the additional warning of arrest, Maurice refused to reimburse Jean as instructed, so a capias was issued for his arrest June 12.
Plainfield Officer Agan, along with State Troopers Washburn and Pratt, arrived at Maurice's residence at 455 County Road in Plainfield and attempted to arrest him.
His mother, Pauline Chase, answered the door and told the officers, "I fed him breakfast this morning and sent him on his way to West Hartford to do some concrete work and he hasn't gotten home yet."
As the troopers checked outside the home, Officer Agan entered the basement and found Maurice down there. Troopers Washburn and Pratt came to meet Agan and explain to Maurice that he was under arrest.
Upon hearing why the officers were at his home, Maurice exclaimed, "I'm not going anywhere! [...] The only way I'm leaving here is in a body bag!"
Officer Agan and the troopers continued with the attempted arrest, but Maurice resisted and "became combative."
Once officers wrestled Maurice to the ground and began handcuffing him, Chase struck the back of one of the officer's legs and had to be told to stop.
Eventually, Maurice was successfully handcuffed; however, "two sets of handcuffs were used due to Temple is [sic] an obese individual."
Police incarcerated Maurice briefly, and he paid the $3,000 he owed for the missed monthly payments up until that date per court mandate.
After paying the three grand for his freedom, Maurice continued his refusal to pay monthly, and he did not reimburse the attorney fees which was ordered to be done during the January 31 ruling.
Jean brought Maurice back to court July 17 to request the immediate payment of $2,000 for the owed July payment and her attorney costs. She argued that Maurice claiming poverty was false since he recently bought a new $170,000 Peterbilt truck for his business.
The court again ruled Maurice was in contempt of court and must pay within 10 days, as of July 18, or another capias for his arrest would be issued.
Before Maurice could reimburse Jean, police discovered the alleged conspiracy to murder her and placed him and Chase under arrest for those charges anyways.
Both of their probable cause hearings are scheduled for August 7 at 1:00 p.m.