On August 25, 2013, Todd Chance was shot twice in the chest in Bakersfield, California, and his wife Leslie “Jenea” Chance, an elementary school principal, was charged with his murder. She was the principal at Fairview Elementary School and had worked at the school district for 16 years, so her arrest shocked those who knew her.
Leslie Chance was first arrested on suspicion of murder a few days after the shooting but was soon released. It wasn’t until 2016 that she was arrested again and this time she was charged with first-degree murder, Bakersfield Now reported. In 2016, a spokesperson with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said, “The investigation was extensive we looked at every angle we reviewed documents. We even received help from the FBI.”
The court documents filed in support of her first-degree charge said investigators believed Chance killed her husband for “financial gain,” but during the trial, the prosecution also showed that Todd Chance had been exchanging flirty messages with his ex-fiance.
During Leslie Chance’s Trial, the Prosecution Argued That She Killed Her Husband After Finding Flirty Exchanges With His Ex-Fiance
During the trial, the prosecution argued that Chance killed her husband both because of an affair they said he was having with his ex and for financial gain. However, when the jury found Chance guilty of killing her husband in January 2020, they indicated that it was not for financial motivation, 23ABC reported.
Prosecutors showed that Todd Chance had been speaking with his ex-fiance Carrie Williams through text and Facebook, flirting and asking for a “good pic” and receiving nude photos of her. Todd Chance and Williams had also been making fun of Leslie Chance, prosecutors argued, according to Law and Crime. Williams also testified for the prosecution during the trial and spoke about their rekindled relationship.
After her sentencing, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office posted:
Convicted killer Leslie Chance was sentenced today to 50 years to life for the murder of her husband of 17 years, Todd Chance. … Leslie Chance carefully premeditated and successfully executed a plan to murder her husband, but was not successful in avoiding the ramifications of the criminal justice system. As stated by Judge Brehmer, ‘No one has won, but justice has been served.’
Leslie Chance Was a Principal & Todd Chance Was a Truck Driver
Leslie Chance had been working as a teacher then as principal for years while her husband worked as a truck driver. The couple had two children together and together they also raised Leslie Chance’s daughter from another marriage, Daily Mail reported. That daughter, Jessica, issued a statement after Todd Chance’s death, saying: “This is a great loss for everybody. He was the best guy, the best husband, the best dad. He’s been in my life since I was 4. He was my dad and he was everything.”
She also spoke at the sentencing and shared her grief at Todd Chance’s death but told the court she believed her mother to be innocent, 23ABC reported.
Todd Chance’s obituary stated: “He worked in the trucking industry for 15 years. He enjoyed all cars and motorcycles, he also spent his free time playing video games with his girls, and practicing sports.”