In Plainfield Murder-For-Hire Case, Judge Rules One Defendant Not Competent

Nov 30, 2017

Pauline Chase booking photo.
Credit Plainfield Police

  A judge has ruled one of two defendants in a murder-for-hire case out of Plainfield is not competent to stand trial.

Pauline Chase, 83, was charged with plotting to pay a local man to kill her son's ex-wife. That man, the would-be hit man, ended up going to the police. He recorded phone calls and videos for police investigators of his interactions with Chase and her son.

But Chase's defense attorney argued she appeared confused in the tapes, and was perhaps set-up by the alleged hit man, who owes her money on a property. A forensic examiner later concluded she's not competent to stand trial.

And a judge in Sullivan County Superior court on Thursday dismissed the charges against her.

The judge did, however, find that Chase remains dangerous to herself and others. She will now be examined for transfer to a state-run facility and evaluation for possible involuntary treatment.

Maurice Temple, her son who's also charged, is awaiting trial.