New Hampshire

Police: 83-Year-Old Woman, Son Hired Hitman to Kill Latter's Postmaster Ex-Wife

An 83-year-old New Hampshire woman and her 63-year-old son are accused in a plot to hire a hitman to murder a postmaster.

Pauline Chase and Maurice Temple, both of 455 Old County Road in Plainfield, New Hampshire, are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder and attempt to commit murder.

The would-be victim, according to authorities, is the postmaster in Plainfield, and her customers say it's hard to believe anyone would be out to get her.

"Very helpful and always kind," Plainfield resident Ellen Herrin said of Jean Temple, Maurice Temple's ex-wife.

"This guy must be crazy, because Jean is an amazing person," said lifelong Plainfield resident Samantha Mitchell.

Police say Jean Temple had a target on her back for weeks after her ex-husband and his mother hired someone to kill her.

"It's usually a pretty quiet little town," Herrin said. "Yeah, that's kind of shocking."

Sitting in a wheelchair, Chase tried to explain herself to a judge in Claremont District Court Friday.

"I'm trying to tell you," she said.

"Let your attorney speak on your behalf," said the judge.

Chase and her son allegedly paid a man $5,000 to murder Jean Temple. Sullivan County Attorney Mark Hathaway says the hired hit man went straight to police and helped them through the investigation.

"We are very grateful for that individual's courage in coming forward," Hathaway said.

The would-be victim sat in the courtroom Friday, but declined to comment on camera.

"The charges themselves characterize our feelings on how serious this matter was," Hathaway said. "We're very pleased that ultimate harm didn't take place here."

Chase and her son are both being held on $1 million cash bail and scheduled to be back in court Aug. 7 for a probable cause hearing.

The affidavits in this case remain sealed while the investigation continues.

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