Trial proceedings in the Leslie Chance case started with little fanfare on Thursday.
After discussions with the attorneys that were conducted behind closed doors in Department 4 of the Kern County Superior Court, Judge Charles Brehmer announced that proceedings will continue on Monday. Then, Brehmer will consider several pre-trial motions submitted by both the prosecution and defense.
Brehmer said he will also consider other types of motions, including a motion for a change of venue and motions regarding media access requested by Chance’s attorney, Paul Cadman.
During Thursday's hearing, Brehmer issued an order limiting media access to the trial proceedings. According to the order, only still photography is permitted. No video or audio is allowed outside of when the court issues a verdict in the case. A large media contingent was present Thursday, including a reporter from Dateline NBC.
Chance, 52, has been charged with shooting and killing her husband, 45-year-old Todd Chance, on Aug. 25, 2013, after the couple drove to a remote area off Noriega Road and Enos Lane. If convicted, she could face life in prison.
Chance was first arrested days after her husband’s body was found, but was later released when prosecutors requested further investigation. She was re-arrested in December 2016.
Chance, who working as principal at Fairview Elementary School at the time of the killing, was expected to receive around $250,000 from her husband's life insurance policies, according to court documents.
After months of delays, the murder trial is finally getting under way. Jury selection in the case is expected to begin in late June, with an expectation to have a jury chosen before the Fourth of July holiday, according to Brehmer.
Opening statements have been tentatively set to begin July 16.