Deputy Public Defender Paul Cadman listens to Judge Charles R. Brehmer's ruling on motions as his then-client, Leslie Chance, center, and attorney Pam Singh listen as well in Department 4 on May 30.

The hearing to determine a new trial date for a former elementary school principal charged in the murder of her husband has been postponed.

Leslie Chance, 52, appeared in court Wednesday for a hearing to determine a new trial date and to establish legal counsel, but attorneys decided to postpone the hearing until July 9. 

Paul Cadman, Chance's former court-appointed attorney, had to excuse himself from his service due to a conflict, and a mistrial was declared during jury selection June 28. Chance will have a new attorney appointed to her by the Indigent Defense Program. 

Chance was charged in the murder of her husband, Todd Chance, 45, on Aug. 25, 2013. If convicted, she could face life in prison.

Prosecutors say the couple drove that morning to the area of Noriega Road near Enos Lane, where Chance is alleged to have shot and killed her husband. Prosecutors say she abandoned the car in a nearby neighborhood and returned home by taxi and on foot.

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

Chance, who was principal at Fairview Elementary School during the time of the shooting, was expected to receive around $250,000 from her husband's life insurance policies, according to court documents.

Maureen Strode can be reached at 661-395-7491. Follow her on Twitter: @maureenstrode.

(1) comment


What every article seems to imply is while Mrs. Chance is stupid beyond words or somehow impaired.

Because the theory of her receiving $250,000 from the suspicious death of her philandering husband is stupid and baseless.

EVERYONE in the English-speaking world KNOWS in a suspicious murder/death, the spouse is ALWAYS the #1 suspect. And being at home is not an alibi.

But Mrs Chance is not stupid. And she's not a murderer.

This very website posted early articles about Todd's gruesome murder. The newspaper stated Todd had intended to go to the gun show at the KC Fairgrounds. Guns, cash, a sketchy parking lot with no camera's, in a bad side of Bakersfield. How about Todd's background? A serial cheater who is an OTR truck driver. What do they say about a sailor with a girl in every port?

And lastly: Mrs Chance has neither the demeanor nor background for murder. And to murder over.... alimony? What a joke. Insurance? Every person with an insurance policy KNOWS you won't get the $$$ if you're under suspicion. Todd talking to his ex? Mrs.Chance was used to her husband's wandering eye. And she'd already been divorced: she didn't try to hurt her previous husband before Todd.

I still believe Todd's murky background was never investigated. Why? Well, you know Kern County. We have a long history of bad decisions when talking about law & justice.

Does the name Dana Butler ring a bell? 1979. Look it up. What a travesty of Justice.

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