Man cleared in murder-for-hire case sues Plainfield police

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PLAINFIELD, NH – A Plainfield man who was acquitted of conspiring with his mother to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife is now suing police claiming that he was entrapped.

Temple

Maurice Temple, 66, filed the lawsuit in the Sullivan County Superior Court this week against the Plainfield Police Department and the New Hampshire State Police claiming he and his 86-year-old mother, Pauline Chase, were set up by police, and the alleged killer-for-hire, Mark Horne.

“Mark Horne and Paul Roberts, acting in his official capacity as police chief, coordinated an attempt to entrap Plaintiff and his mother into their murder-for-hire scheme beginning in 2013 and continued to prey on them until 2017 when they allegedly agreed to their scheme,” the lawsuit states.

Maurice and Jean Temple divorced in 2009, and in 2017 Maurice Temple had been jailed for failing to pay court costs associated with his divorce from Jean Temple. That’s when Horne, a neighbor with whom the Temple’s had a somewhat contentious relationship, approached Chase about the murder, according to the lawsuit. Chase was in no condition to enact such a scheme, the lawsuit states.

“Upon information and belief, Roberts and Horne knew all the while that Plaintiff’s mother suffered from dementia and that she was often confused and ‘not all there,’” the lawsuit states.

Chase was deemed incompetent to stand trial on charges related to her alleged role in the scheme due to dementia.

Chase

Maurice Temple’s published phone number is disconnected, and Horne did not respond to request for comment. Jean Temple, the now ex-wife, did not respond to a request for comment. Roberts stated that he is unable to discuss any pending litigation.

The lawsuit claims that Horne and Roberts tried for years to lure Maurice Temple and Paula Chase to engage in a murder-for-hire scheme. Horne testified during the criminal trial that he spoke to Maurice Temple in 2014 about possibly killing Jean Temple, but Maurice Temple was then uninterested.

The month before the investigation, Jean Temple had filed a $2 million lawsuit against Maurice Temple over money she claimed was owed her in the divorce. When Maurice Temple was jailed for failing to pay $20,000 in court costs associated with the divorce case in 2017, Horne started talking to Chase about the murder-for-hire possibility. Horne contacted Roberts, who contacted New Hampshire State Police Trooper Matthew Koehler.

“Roberts and Koehler encouraged Horne to call Chase and pressure her to enter into a murder for hire scheme aimed at Jean Temple. Roberts and Koehler, brought their law enforcement experience and knowledge into the scheme and coordinated Horne’s conversations with Chase and consequently Maurice so as to best entice them into a scheme they had no predisposition to enter into,” the lawsuit states.

In recorded conversations, Chase agreed to pay Horne $5,000 upfront and another $5,000 after Jean Temple was murdered. No murder or attempt took place, and mother and son were both arrested and initially held on $1 million bail each. The criminal trial in December of 2018 ended with Maurice Temple being found not guilty on all charges.