The trial of a former principal accused of killing her husband was postponed on Friday to February while a man charged in the slaying of a young woman that occurred nearly 40 years ago will stand trial as scheduled later this month.
The upcoming trials of Leslie Chance and Prentice Foreman are among the more high-profile Kern County cases in recent years, and each had a hearing in Department 1 of Superior Court Friday morning.
In the case of Chance, Judge Charles R. Brehmer found good cause to postpone her trial to Feb. 25 after Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman said he's currently in trial and the defense investigation is ongoing. Cadman and Public Defender Pam Singh are representing Chance.
Prosecutor Art Norris objected to the postponement. He argued the case is "fairly old" and the victim's family wanted it resolved as quickly as possible.
Even if Cadman is not available, Norris said, Singh is an "outstanding" attorney and capable of handling the case on her own.
The judge, however, said it's necessary for the defense to be fully prepared and he found a postponement of a couple of months reasonable.
Chance, 51, faces life without the possibility of parole if found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Todd Chance, whose body was found Aug. 25, 2013, off a dirt section of Noriega Road near Enos Lane.
Prosecutors say Leslie Chance drove with her husband to Noriega Road, shot him, then left his Ford Mustang in a southwest Bakersfield neighborhood before taking a taxi to a location near her home. It's alleged she killed him to collect on life insurance policies.
Chance, at the time the principal of Fairview Elementary School, was initially arrested four days after the killing but released while the Sheriff's Office continued its investigation. She was rearrested in late 2016.
Foreman, 61, is accused of killing 18-year-old Dawn Koons in her apartment in January 1979.
Koons was found naked in a bathtub with her hands bound and a pillowcase over her head. She died from asphyxiation, and a pathologist testified she could have been smothered or strangled.
Foreman was arrested in December after the Bakersfield Police Department's cold case unit got a hit on a retested semen sample from the crime scene that matched his DNA. He lived in the same apartment complex as Koons.
His trial is set to begin Nov. 19 and is estimated to last six weeks.