2017-08-11 / Front Page

Defense cites entrapment in murder-for-hire case


CLAREMONT — Hearings will continue for Plainfield resident Maurice Temple after Judge John Yazinski on Thursday established probable cause in the alleged murder-for-hire case. Bail remains at $1,000,000 for the 63 year-old accused of attempting to hire a local business owner to kill his ex-wife, Jean Temple.

The case resumed on Thursday afternoon after a continuation from Monday’s hearing. At the conclusion of the first part of the hearing, defense attorney Donna Brown called Mark Horne to the witness stand. Despite objections from prosecutors in the case, Horne was questioned Thursday as Brown made the case that Horne attempted to entrap Temple in the scheme.

On June 23, Temple was arrested on a contempt capias order for failing to comply with court orders. Family court documents show that he owed Jean Temple more than $17,000 and repeatedly failed to make payments. Temple was charged with resisting arrest during the ordeal.

Horne encountered Jean Temple on June 25 at a retirement party at the Plainfield Fire Station, he said during the probable cause hearing, where he learned about the June 23 arrest. Later that day, Horne called Pauline Chase, Temple’s 83 year-old mother, to talk about her son’s arrest.

During the June 25 phone call, Horne said, Chase allegedly said that she wanted Jean Temple “to disappear.”

“She used the words, ‘she wanted that b*#ch to go down the river,’” Horne said. “I think she asked if I could facilitate that.”

Horne placed a call to Plainfield Police to report that Chase asked him to harm Jean Temple following the conversation, setting in motion a month-long investigation into Chase and Temple involving recorded phone calls and hidden cameras.

Brown’s defense of Temple for probable cause, however, rested on the fact that in many of the initial recorded conversations between Horne and Chase, Temple was not involved. Chase even said in many of the recorded conversations that she did not want to “rile up” Temple by letting him know about the plot.

Brown argued that this was a case of entrapment, and it was only when Horne went to Chase and Temple’s house that Temple is seen in the plot at all. During one video recording, Horne enters the house to receive a cash down payment for the plot, and Temple is seen and heard in the background. In another video, Temple is watching television when Horne broaches the subject of the plot, and Temple responds that he doesn’t want to go back to jail.

The defense also noted that a similar plot in which Chase tried to hire Horne to harm Jean Temple was hatched in the past, but the investigation did not result in any charges. And so, Brown argued, Horne could have reasonably assumed that the most recent request to harm Jean Temple was merely Chase venting her frustrations, and if Horne had not pursued the subject more, the situation would not have escalated to include Temple.

However, the prosecution compared the finding of probable cause to a robbery in which four people plot to rob a bank and pick up a fifth robber only a mile from the bank. The fact that the fifth person wasn’t involved in the initial planning stages is irrelevant in a probable cause finding, he said.

Yazinski ultimately established probable cause for Temple, but revoked the bail for the charges related to the June 23 arrest. The bail for the charges of conspiracy to commit murder, criminal solicitation to commit murder and attempt to commit murder still remains at $1,000,000.

Chase has yet to stand for a probable cause hearing, pending a competency hearing.

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