Opening Statements in the trial of Leslie Chance, the former Elementary School Principal accused of killing her husband Todd Chance in 2013 began Monday.
For years, prosecutors said the apparent motive was money. But in court, they added retribution, for Todd Chance’s alleged affair.
Inside the crowded courtroom of Kern County Superior Court, Judge Charles Brehmer, the prosecution and defense laid out their cases for the jury.
In the middle of those opening statements were arguments that unveiled what could be deemed as a new motive to the 2013 murder of Todd Chance.
“I anticipate through the evidence in this case, that money was not the underlying reason for the murder of Todd Chance,” Prosecutor and Assistant District Attorney, Andrea Kohler said. “In fact, I anticipate that you are going to hear that Todd Chance had rekindled a romance, a texting type of romance with his old flame.”
Kohler spent the beginning on her opening statement telling the jury evidence goes beyond allegations of a rekindled love.
Instead, surveillance video dispersed throughout the city also connects Chance to her husband’s killing on Aug. 25, 2013.
Kohler also said Chance’s daughter to the surveillance video presented to her as evidence points to her mother’s guilt.
“You’re going to hear that when she watched those videos that she began sobbing uncontrollably,” Kohler said. “[She] put her head down on the table, and when the detective asked her is that your mother, she said, ‘Yes, yes.’ And then the detective asked her was that your mother in all of the videos that I’ve shown you? Her response was, ‘Yes.'”
However, Chance’s attorney, Tony Lidgett, argued circumstantial evidence is not enough to prove Chance’s guilt.
“There are always two sides to every story,” Lidgett said.
Lidgett began his opening statement by saying Chance never left the house the morning of her husband’s killing.
Adding, several relatives and close acquaintances couldn’t even identify the person in the surveillance video.
In concluding his statements, there was still a piece missing to the evidence in its entirety.
But in the middle of two contrasting arguments, sat a quiet Leslie Chance, focused on the arguments presented both against her and in her favor.
“I anticipate when all of that evidence is presented to you, that you will find that the defendant Leslie Jenae Chance,” Kohler said. “Through her actions prepared a very involved and detailed lesson plan on how to kill her husband, how to murder him.”
“Proof without a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you with a biting conviction that the charge is true,” Lidgett said. “And unless the evidence proves Jenae guilty without a reasonable doubt she’s entitled to acquittal, you must find her not guilty.”
The trial of Leslie Chance is set to last until the end of January.
It is set to resume Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.