Judge informs jury of more evidence KCSO failed to disclose in the Leslie Chance case

Crime Watch

Defendant Leslie Chance listens to opening statements at her murder trial. Courtesy The Bakersfield Californian

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — For the second time this week, the judge presiding over the murder trial of Leslie Chance notified jurors that Kern County sheriff’s detectives failed to disclose evidence in the case.

Judge Charles R. Brehmer told the jury Friday that Kavin Brewer, the lead detective on the case, recorded an interview in the presence of four people — including Chance’s brother — on Sept. 3, 2013.

Brewer never told the District Attorney’s office or any of the attorneys that have represented Chance about this interview, Brehmer told the jury.

If Chance’s brother, Bryan James, hadn’t contacted defense attorney Tony Lidgett this week, no one would have been aware of the interview’s existence, the judge said.

Earlier this week, Brehmer told the jury about two other interviews conducted in 2013 that Brewer failed to disclose to attorneys or log into evidence.

At least two of the three interviews featured witnesses who told detectives they could not identify Chance in surveillance footage that has played a key role in the trial.

Brehmer told the jury — both earlier this week and on Friday — that it may consider what effect, if any, Brewer’s failure to disclose these interviews had on the case.

Chance, 52, is charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 25, 2013 shooting of her husband. Prosecutors say she killed him after discovering he’d re-established contact with an old girlfriend, and that surveillance footage captured her as she made her way home after dumping the body in an almond orchard.

The defense has argued Chance never left her home the morning Todd Chance, 45, was killed.

Called to the witness stand Friday morning, Bryan James testified he did not recognize his sister in the surveillance footage detectives played for him in 2013. He said detectives implied it was his sister in the footage.

More footage was played by the defense for James on Friday. For each video he watched, he testified he did not recognize anyone.

This afternoon, Lidgett is expected to call Brewer to the stand.

The Chance trial began Dec. 9 and is expected to wrap up Jan. 21 or 22.

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