NEWPORT, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man charged in a failed murder-for-hire plot involving his ex-wife has been acquitted.
The Valley News reports jurors on Tuesday found 64-year-old Maurice Temple not guilty of criminal solicitation of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempt to commit murder.
Temple and his mother, 83-year-old Pauline Chase, were arrested in July after the supposed hit man, Mark Horne, went to police and agreed to secretly record phone and video conversations. Chase was found not competent to stand trial.
Prosecutors say Temple owed his ex-wife, Jean Temple, money after their divorce and was in favor of arranging to have her killed.
Temple's lawyer claims her client was set up by Horne and Jean Temple. Maurice Temple testified that he did not take the talks with Horne and his mother seriously.
"We focused mainly on the witness Mark Horne and his interactions with the defendant and his mother ... and how (Horne) just pursued it and continued to pursue it," jury foreman John O'Connor said. "It came down to entrapment, and that was basically it. We couldn't get around that."
Prosecutors say they're disappointed with the outcome.
Temple and Chase still face a lawsuit from Jean Temple, who left the courtroom after the verdict was read.
Information from: Lebanon Valley News, http://www.vnews.com