Local News

Tuesday, Sep 17 2013 12:24 PM

Gun, note found in car of man authorities believe was killed by school principal wife

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    Todd Eric Chance

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    By Photo courtesy of KBAK/KBFX-TV

    Leslie Jenea Chance

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BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Detectives recovered a .38-caliber revolver and a note written on white paper in the car of a Bakersfield man who authorities allege was shot and killed by his wife.

The details of the note found in Todd Chance’s 2011 black Ford Mustang were not disclosed in search warrants filed in court this week by Kern County sheriff’s deputies.

The warrant says detectives believe 45-year-old Chance was shot in his 2011 black Ford Mustang, and his body left in a field off a dirt section of Noriega Road off Enos Lane sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Aug. 25. He suffered two bullet wounds to the chest.

There were two spent shell casings in the revolver found under the floor mat of his car, the search warrant says. The note was found under the driver’s seat, as were a pink towel and car keys.

The warrant says Chance’s wife, Jenea Chance, told detectives her husband left at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 25 to attend a gun show at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Jenea Chance, a local school principal, has been named the sole suspect in the shooting, and last week detectives collected a DNA swab and fingerprints from her.

Her attorney, Kyle J. Humphrey, said Tuesday the search warrant supports what he and Chance have said all along: that police should be investigating other suspects.

“Instead of a rush to judgment, tunnel-vision looking at my client, look at what the deputy put in the search warrant,” Humphrey said. “This is a possible carjacking.”

Humphrey said he’s known of numerous cases where a suspect killed someone and then quickly got out of town. He said it would take a criminal genius to carry out the murder the way detectives have portrayed it, and that’s not the type of person Jenea Chance is.

He said the past few weeks have been painful for Chance not only because she’s mourning her husband’s death but because of what she’s accused of doing.

“Every thing that she has done right in the world doesn’t matter right now because she’s under a cloud of suspicion,” he said.

Detectives say Chance, 46, and her husband drove to the field and she shot and killed him, before abandoning the car near the intersection of Tigerflower Drive and Wheatland Avenue. The Fairview Elementary School principal was arrested on suspicion of murder Aug. 29 but released days later when the District Attorney’s office requested further investigation.

Chance is on paid administrative leave. Search warrants have been served at her home in the 9400 block of Metropolitan Way in southwest Bakersfield and at Fairview Elementary.

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