Local News

Wednesday, Sep 11 2013 04:45 PM

DNA swab, fingerprints taken from principal accused of husband's murder

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    By Photo courtesy of KBAK/KBFX-TV

    Leslie Jenea Chance

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    Todd Eric Chance

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Detectives took a DNA swab and fingerprints Wednesday from the elementary school principal accused of fatally shooting her husband.

Defense attorney Kyle J. Humphrey said the swab and prints were collected at his office after Kern County Sheriff's detectives called informing him they had a court order for that data. Humphrey said detectives are searching for any trace evidence because it's a case with no witnesses to what happened.

The attorney said his client maintains her innocence but was not prepared to speak to the media Wednesday. He said she's still mourning the death of her husband, Todd Chance.

Farmworkers found Todd Chance's body at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 25 in the field about 16 miles from his southwest Bakersfield home. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt has said Jenea Chance remains the sole suspect in his death, and detectives have received information regarding a possible motive.

Detectives allege Chance and her 45-year-old husband drove in his 2011 Ford Mustang to a field off a dirt section of Noriega Road near Enos Lane. Detectives say she shot and killed her husband, then abandoned the car near the intersection of Tigerflower Drive and Wheatland Avenue before making her way home.

Jenea Chance was arrested on suspicion of murder Aug. 29 but released Sept. 3 after the District Attorney's office sent the case back to the Sheriff's Office for further investigation. Prosecutors have not elaborated on what information they're seeking.

Detectives searched the Mustang and returned it to Chance on Friday. Humphrey has said his own investigators will go over it and then the vehicle will be placed in storage.

Jenea Chance, 46, is on paid administrative leave as principal of Fairview Elementary School. She has been with the Greenfield Union School District since 1997, and principal at Fairview since 2010.

Search warrants have been served both at the school and the Chance home in the 9400 block of Metropolitan Way.

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