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'Dateline' episode to explore Bakersfield murder

2020122-bc-Chance (copy)

Leslie Chance and her attorney, Tony Lidgett, listen to prosecuting attorney Art Norris during closing arguments in the Leslie Chance murder trial in January.

A high-profile local murder case involving a Bakersfield elementary school principal will be the subject of NBC’s “Dateline” program Friday night.

The episode, “Point Blank,” which airs at 9 p.m., explores the murder of 45-year-old Todd Chance, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in a rural orchard northwest of Bakersfield in August 2013.

His wife, former Fairview Elementary principal Leslie Jenea Chance, was convicted of first-degree murder in the case in January and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.

The “Dateline” episode includes interviews with Leslie Chance, who goes by the name Jenea, and the lead Kern County Sheriff’s detective on the case, Kavin Brewer.

Brewer came under scrutiny during the trial when it was revealed that he failed to enter several interviews with witnesses that were favorable to Leslie Jenea Chance into evidence before the case went to trial.

Brewer was also accused by the defense during the trial of trying to influence witness statements.

During the four-and-a-half-week trial that began in late 2019, the prosecution set out to prove Leslie Jenea Chance shot her husband because of a texting tryst he had carried on with a former girlfriend. She planned the murder for weeks beforehand, the prosecution said, using information learned at a CSI exhibit in Las Vegas to cover her tracks and make it look like someone else killed Todd Chance.

Leslie Jenea Chance was first arrested in 2013, days after her husband’s body was found, but was released a few days later when prosecutors requested further inquiry from investigators with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. She was arrested again in December 2016.