20190531-bc-chance

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.

A mistrial has been declared in the murder trial of former elementary school principal Leslie Chance, court documents say.

The cause of the mistrial is unknown.

In February, Judge Judith K. Dulcich approved a gag order in the case, preventing the attorneys involved in the case, led by prosecutor Art Norris and defense attorney Paul Cadman, from discussing anything with the media about the case other than scheduling issues. 

Chance is expected to appear in court July 3 for a confirmation of counsel hearing. Attorneys will also set a new trial date. 

Chance has been charged with murdering her husband, 45-year-old Todd Chance, 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 395-7491. You can also follow her on twitter: @maureenstrode. 

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