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Police informant details alleged Plainfield murder-for-hire plot

Union Leader Correspondent

August 10. 2017 9:00PM
Maurice Temple of Plainfield, left, appeared at a probable cause hearing in District Court in Claremont on Thursday where police informant Mark Horne, right, testified about an alleged murder-for-hire plot. (Meghan Pierce/Correspondent)

Mark Horne testifies in the probable causing hearing for Maurice Temple of Plainfield in the Claremont district court (Meghan Pierce/Correspondent)

CLAREMONT — The supposed hitman who was really a police informant at the center of an alleged Plainfield murder-for-hire plot took the stand during the continuation of a probable causing hearing for Maurice Temple.

Temple, 63 and his 83-year-old mother, Pauline Chase, were arrested July 27. They both are charged with conspiring to pay Mark Horne to kill Temple’s ex-wife.

Maurice Temple and Chase, 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 Jean Temple, on or between June 20 and July 27.

The couple was divorced in 2009. According to family division court records on file in Claremont Circuit Court, Maurice Temple had been ordered to pay his wife’s attorney fees, $14,990, as part of the divorce.

In January he was court ordered to give her $17,990 to pay off this debt, which had increased because of interest and fees.

His failure to pay this debt led to his brief incarceration in June.

Horne was brought to the stand in the 5th Circuit Court District Division in Claremont Thursday afternoon by Maurice Temple’s defense attorney, Donna Brown.

Horne said he and Jean Temple are both on the Plainfield Fire Department and friends.

During his testimony, Horne said he called police on June 25 to report the plot, the same day of the fire chief’s retirement party at which he had spoken to Jean Temple and had learned Maurice Temple was in jail for non-payment to his ex-wife.

After the party, Horne said he called Pauline Chase. During that phone conversation, Horne said on the stand, “that she had said that she had wanted Jean to go down the river or disappear.”

Brown asked if Horne had tried to talk her out of it, but Horne said, “she seemed pretty determined.”

Horne also said that he, Chase and Maurice Temple had discussions back in 2013 about Horne being paid to kill Jean Temple, but nothing came of the plans.

Horne said that’s why he thought Maurice Temple knew about the plans and was “on board.”

Brown asked Horne if he was aware of any cognitive issues that Chase had. Hersh objected and Judge John Yazinski agreed with Hersh and halted the line of questioning.

Yazinski found probable cause, and bound the case over to Sullivan County Superior Court in Newport.

Brown asked Yazinski to reduce Maurice Temple’s bail, arguing his business would suffer irreparable harm if he is in jail for the next five months awaiting trial.

Brown said Maurice Temple is a victim of entrapment.

“Mr. Horne, who is very talented in getting Mr. Temple going, got him mad about the case,” she said. “He got him worked up and he’s venting. It certainly wasn’t part of any plan. … He was just venting.”

Brown also said Horne has a financial interest since he makes monthly rent payments to Chase for a property he is buying from her.

Yazinski revoked bail for a misdemeanor charge Maurice Temple is facing for resisting arrest. He said bail on the other charges would be unchanged.

Both mother and son remain in the Sullivan County House of Corrections in Unity on $1 million cash only bail.

Thursday’s probable cause hearing in the Claremont District Court was a continuation of the hearing that started on Monday and that had lasted several hours because numerous audio and video recordings were presented as evidence that Maurice Temple and Chase conspired with Horne.

Chase’s probable cause hearing is on hold because her defense attorney, Jennifer Cohen, has filed a motion to determine Chase’s competency.

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