CLAREMONT, N.H. — An attorney for an 83-year-old New Hampshire woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot involving her son’s ex-wife says her client’s physical and mental health continue to decline while she waits in jail for a finding on whether she’s competent to stand trial.

Public Defender Lauren Breda told a judge on Tuesday that other inmates are banding together care for Pauline Chase. She and her son, 63-year-old Maurice Temple, have pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal solicitation of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempt to commit murder. Both are being held on $1 million bail each.

A judge postponed a competency hearing to Nov. 21 after the prosecutor said an expert working on Chase’s report needed more time. Breda said Chase, of Plainfield, is growing more forgetful and confused.

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