Judge finds woman not competent in New Hampshire murder-for-hire case

New Hampshire Mother Son Arrested
These July, 27, 2017 file photos, provided by Plainfield Police Department show Pauline Chase, 83, left, and her son Maurice Temple, 63. –Plainfield Police Department via AP, File

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire judge has found that an 83-year-old woman accused of a failed murder-for-hire plot involving her son’s ex-wife is not competent at this time to stand trial and is a danger to herself and others.

Judge Brian Tucker issued a ruling Thursday dismissing indictments for now against Pauline Chase. She and her 63-year-old son, Maurice Temple, have been jailed since July on $1 million bail each. They pleaded not guilty to criminal solicitation of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempt to commit murder. Temple will stand trial.

Tucker wrote that Chase should stay in state custody for now and be evaluated for further treatment. He agreed with a state expert that Chase’s cognitive decline is severe enough that she can’t live safely independently.

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