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Updated: Police Say 83-Year-Old Plainfield Woman Paid $5,000 As Downpayment to Kill Ex-Daughter-in-Law

  • Maurice Temple listens to the judge during his arraignment in Claremont District Court on July, 28, 2017 in Claremont, N.H. Temple and his mother have been charged with principal/accomplice to attempt to commit murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Pauline Chase during her video arraignment in Claremont District Court on July, 28, 2017 in Claremont, N.H. Chase and her son have been charged with principal/accomplice to attempt to commit murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Jean Temple listens in Claremont District Court on July 28, 2017 during the arraignment of her ex-husband and ex- mother-in-law. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Maurice Temple and Pauline Chase.

  • Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway speaks to members of the media on July 28, 2017 outside of the Claremont district courtroom in Claremont, N.H., where Pauline Chase and Maurice Temple were arraigned on several charges in connection with a murder-for-hire plot. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The home of Maurice Temple and his mother, Pauline Chase, in Plainfield, N.H. They have been charged in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, July 28, 2017

Claremont — An 83-year-old woman and her 63-year-old son are each being held on $1 million bail on charges that they paid a fellow Plainfield resident to murder the town’s postmaster, the son’s former wife.

Pauline Chase and her son Maurice Temple were arraigned by video conference on Friday in Claremont District Court on charges of criminal solicitation to commit murder, attempt to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

They were arrested on Thursday night.

Temple and Chase had “multiple conversations” with another Plainfield man, Mark Horne, about “causing the death of Jean Temple” in exchange for compensation, according to a complaint filed by Plainfield Police Chief Paul Roberts.

Jean Temple, Temple’s ex-wife, attended Friday’s court date and appeared to be unharmed.

The complaint also says Chase gave Horne approximately $5,000 in cash while her son was “present and/or participating in the conversation.” The money was a “down payment” for killing Jean Temple, according to the complaint.

“We’re very grateful for that individual’s cooperation in this matter,” Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said of Horne, who he said had notified police.

Speaking with reporters after Friday’s arraignment, Hathaway added that authorities were “very pleased” that the aim of the alleged murder-for-hire plot had not been carried out. Citing an ongoing investigation, Hathaway declined to say what Temple and Chase’s motives were, nor would he provide details about their purported plans.

Horne, who lives in Plainfield Village, previously operated a horse farm along Route 12A near Temple and Chase’s home. A 2003 real estate transaction in the Valley News indicates that Horne and his wife bought land and a building along Route 12A from Chase for $190,000.

Horne could not be reached for comment at his home on Friday.

Jean Temple, who sat in the gallery for Friday’s court hearing, declined to be interviewed afterward.

During the arraignment, Judge John Yazinski entered “no pleas” for Temple and Chase in advance of an Aug. 7 probable cause hearing.

Temple and Chase appeared via video and, through their attorneys, agreed to the bail that Hathaway requested. Their defense attorneys noted that they may request new bail hearings at a later date.

Temple stayed mostly silent through the proceedings, except to answer questions from the judge. Chase, on the other hand, made repeated outbursts, prompting Yazinski to advise her to let her lawyer do the talking.

“She’s the one that should be arrested,” Chase said when Hathaway mentioned Jean Temple’s name.

Maurice Temple had another encounter with police as recently as last month. Officers in June charged him with resisting arrest as they executed a warrant at his Old County Road home, where he also runs an excavation business, to take him into custody on contempt of court charges.

Court documents show that the confrontation had to do with his divorce from Jean Temple, under the terms of which he still owed money to her — nearly $18,000 stemming from attorney’s fees, a judge said in an order from January.

For some Plainfield residents, the news of an alleged murder-for-hire scheme brought back memories of other bizarre misdeeds: the armed standoff with and arrests of tax protesters Ed and Elaine Brown, in 2007; and the revelation, in 2008, that a Cornish man with a high-flying lifestyle who called himself “Clark Rockefeller” actually was a German-born imposter and murderer.

“Plainfield is no stranger to tangled, convoluted crimes,” Margaret Drye said on Friday afternoon in an interview on her front porch.

Drye lives next door to the post office and has become used to seeing Jean Temple nearly every day.

“She’s a wonderful person, a nice lady,” Drye said. “I’m shocked.”

Drye and others in town said the Temples had shown little to no outward sign of a simmering dispute, which made Thursday night’s arrests all the more surprising.

John Stephenson, who lives a few doors down from Temple and his mother, said the family tended to keep to themselves. In Stephenson’s 45 years there, he came to know them very little, he said. “That tells you something.”

Maurice Temple was an occasional customer at Plainfield Auto Sales & Services, on Route 12A, according to Mike Palamara, an employee there who stopped to chat outside Anne’s Plainfield Country Convenience Store.

“I always thought he was kind of a quiet guy,” Palamara said of Temple. As with the other residents, Palamara said there wasn’t much warning of trouble beforehand, adding, “I’m glad it was stopped before anything bad happened.”

Palamara also brought up the Rockefeller imbroglio, citing it as evidence that outlandish crimes were no longer so unthinkable in the area.

“I don’t think people are shocked in Plainfield anymore,” he said.

Rob Wolfe can be reached at rwolfe@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.



Continue reading after the police complaints.