Woman, 83, who 'hired a hitman to murder her son's "money-hungry" ex-wife in a failed murder-for-hire plot' is heard on tape saying she wants to be 'rid of her' before suggesting they use a 'meat grinder' to dispose of her body
- Pauline Chase, 83, and Maurice Temple, 63, were arrested in late July for allegedly plotting to kill the man's ex-wife, Jean Temple
- Police said they gave Mark Horne a $5,000 down payment to kill the 'money hungry' Jean
- She and Maurice have been fighting over their divorce settlement
- During a probable cause hearing, prosecutors played phone calls between Chase and Horne could be heard laughing about the murder plot
- When discussing ways to dispose o the body, Chase is heard asking Horne, 'Got a meat grinder?'
A New Hampshire judge on Monday heard audio recordings on which an 83-year-old woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot could be heard laughing and saying she wants her son's ex-wife dead.
Prosecutors played phone calls between Pauline Chase and a hit man. The octogenarian mother and her son, 63-year-old Maurice Temple, both of Plainfield, have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder and attempt to commit murder.
Temple and Chase were arrested in late July after the prospective assassin, Mark Horne, went to the police, helped set up a sting operation and ultimately thwarted the alleged plot.
Mother-son duo: Pauline Chase, 83, left, and her son Maurice Temple, 63, have been charged in a foiled murder-for-hire plot targeting Temple's ex-wife
Targeted: Chase and her son allegedly wanted Jean Temple (pictured) dead because she has been fighting with him over their divorce settlement
On one call played during Monday's probable cause hearing, which was attended by the would-be victim, the man asks Chase if she's sure she wants the woman dead. Chase responds, laughing, 'Yes, that's right,' reported the station WMUR.
Chase is also heard on a recording saying of her son's ex-wife, Jean Temple: 'She is money hungry. I want to be rid of her and so do you.'
At another point, the elderly woman accuses Jean of making her son 'miserable' during the years the couple had spent together, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Horne asks Chase several times if she is certain she wants to go through with the plan.
'We’re talking dead dead. She’s going to be gone,' the hit man-turned-informant tells Chase.
On one recording, a mirthful Chase is heard talking about ways to dispose of Jean Temple's body after the killing and inquires of Horne, 'Got a meat grinder?'
She then asks several times if her former daughter-in-law would be dumped in the ocean.
Maurice Temple's lawyer argued in court that his client was not part of his mother's plan until the hit man persuaded him to get on board.
In one taped conversation, a wary Temple asks Horne if he is wearing a wire, which the latter denies, and expresses concern that if anything happens to Jean, the suspicion would fall on him.
'This could be a set up,' Maurice tells his mother and Horne, according to Valley News. 'I don’t want to go to prison.'
The hearing was continued to Thursday. No arguments have been heard yet for Chase.
Both the mother and son are being held on a $1million bail and are prohibited from having any contact with each other.
According to court documents obtained by Valley News, Maurice and his mother had 'multiple conversations' with Horne about killing Jean.
Authorities said that Maurice was in the room when Chase gave the man about $5,000 cash as a 'down payment' for killing Jean, who was later identified as being Chase's former daughter-in-law.
Chase is seen in court on Monday at a probable cause hearing, during which prosecutors played phone calls between her and the hit man
Maurice Temple's lawyer argued in court that his client, pictured in an orange shirt, was not part of his mother's plan and had to be talked into it
The mother-and-son duo also offered Horne additional incentives, including property, to carry out Jean's murder, and Maurice repeatedly checked Horne to make sure he wasn't recording their discussions, according to the Boston Globe.
WMUR reports that Maurice and Jean have been fighting over an $18,000 debt he owes her, stemming from their divorce. In early July, Maurice was arrested after he failed to make court-ordered payments to Jean.
Maurice runs an excavation and snowplow business. His ex-wife works as the postmaster of Plainfield.
The murder-for-hire discussions allegedly took place between June 20 and July 27, and the mother and son were arrested that Thursday.
During their arraignment the next day, prosecutors said that Horne himself tipped them off about the failed murder plot.
Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway told WMUR that prosecutors don't expect to charge anybody besides Chase and her son in the murder-for-hire plot, noting Horne's cooperation.
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