Police Informant Takes the Stand in Plainfield Murder-for-Hire Plot Trial

  • Maurice Temple

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, December 07, 2017

Newport — The police informant who wore a wire to secretly record conversations with Pauline Chase and Maurice Temple about their alleged desire to have Temple’s ex-wife killed took the stand for several hours on Thursday, the second day of Temple’s criminal trial.

Plainfield resident Mark Horne testified that he called Chase on June 25 after he learned at a retirement party that Temple had been arrested on contempt of court charges related to his divorce proceedings with Jean Temple. Jean Temple told Horne that development at the party, he testified.

It was during that phone call that Chase allegedly told Horne that she wanted Jean Temple killed, or that she “ought to go down the river,” Horne said on the stand in Sullivan Superior Court.

Maurice Temple’s defense attorney, Donna Brown, asked Horne why he thought that was a true wish.

“Why didn’t you think she was just venting?” Brown asked Horne.

“Because we had been down this road before,” Horne replied. “She has previously discussed Jean being terminated with me.”

Brown has said during past hearings that the alleged murder-for-hire plot was all at the making of Horne.

Prosecutors, however, contend that Temple was set on having his ex-wife killed. The state played a number of the audio and video recordings from June and July for the jurors while Horne was on the stand.

Assistant Sullivan County Attorney Justin Hersh stopped the recordings at times and pointed out statements related to Maurice Temple.

“Did Mrs. Chase give you the cash in front of Mr. Temple?” Hersh asked Horne, referencing the $5,000 down payment Chase allegedly gave to Horne to have Jean Temple killed.

“Yes,” he replied.

Another statement Hersh referenced: “Who just told you to ‘make it look like a robbery and burn the (expletive) place to the ground’ ?”

“Maurice Temple,” Horne said.

Maurice Temple, Chase and Horne all knew one another before the case began this summer and together had been involved in real estate transactions.

In 1999, Horne filed a civil lawsuit against Chase over one of those transactions, and the outcome of the suit was that Horne got to keep the property in question but he had to pay Chase the mortgage.

On Thursday morning, New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Matt Koehler finished his testimony.

Koehler worked together with Plainfield Police Chief Paul Roberts to perform the undercover investigation into the alleged plot. Temple, 63, of Plainfield, faces charges of criminal solicitation of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempt to commit murder.

Chase, 83, also of Plainfield, has been found not competent to stand trial. A treatment evaluation is pending.

The trial will resume on Monday in the Newport courthouse.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.