Mother, son charged with murder-for-hire face civil suit
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire mother and son accused of a failed murder-for-hire plot involving the man’s ex-wife also face a civil lawsuit in addition to criminal charges.
Pauline Chase, 83, and Maurice Temple, 63, were charged in July with conspiracy, solicitation and attempt to commit murder. Prosecutors said the Plainfield residents arranged to have another man kill Jean Temple over money Maurice Temple owed her after their 2009 divorce. The man went to police, and the killing didn’t happen.
Jean Temple filed a civil lawsuit earlier this month seeking $2 million from her ex-husband and former mother-in-law. Her attorney, Charles Douglas, said she has suffered severe emotional distress and has taken a leave of absence from her job as the Plainfield postmaster.
“There’s the uncertainty of, is there going to be another plot and just the emotional upset of knowing these two people wanted to have her killed,” he said Friday.
Douglas said the civil lawsuit likely wouldn’t go to trial for at least a year, after the criminal cases are resolved. Maurice Temple’s trial is set for December; a hearing on whether his mother is competent to stand trial is set for November.
According to court documents, the couple divorced in 2009 after 35 years of marriage. Maurice Temple was jailed in 2016 for failing to pay $51,000 he was ordered to pay in the divorce and again in June for not paying $20,000 in legal fees.
At a hearing in August, prosecutors played recordings of phone calls between Pauline Chase and the man they say she hired as hit man. In one call, the man asked Chase if she’s sure she wanted the woman dead. Chase responded, laughing, “Yes, that’s right.” Maurice Temple’s lawyer has said Temple wasn’t part of the plan until the hit man persuaded him to be.
Lawyers for Maurice Temple and his mother did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday.