California principal charged with murdering her husband

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A California elementary school principal, arrested in connection with her husband’s death, was released from custody Tuesday after a court hearing for her was postponed and the time expired that she could be held without being charged.

She was to be released with no formal charges filed as prosecutors waited for more information from the Kern County, California, sheriff’s department, according to information confirmed by Kern County District Attorney David Zulfa.

Leslie Jenea Chance, principal of an elementary school in Bakersfield, was arrested late Thursday. The body of her husband, Todd Chance, was found August 25 in an almond orchard in Bakersfield, a city about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. His black Ford Mustang was found abandoned in a residential area.

“We do believe she is the person who drove that car to the neighborhood, then dropped it off, then walked away from the vehicle,” Ray Pruitt, a spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, said after the arrest.

cal-principalAn arraignment hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, but the hearing was postponed. Zulfa confirmed to CNN that Chance’s release was pending Tuesday afternoon, with the time expiring that she could be held without formal charges filed.

An operator at the Kern County Jail said Chance was freed about 6 p.m. (9 p.m. ET).

Leslie Chance, 46, has been principal of Fairview Elementary School in Bakersfield for three years. She was married to Todd Chance, 45, for 17 years, according to his obituary in the Bakersfield Californian newspaper.

Tuesday morning, Leslie Chance’s name was still listed as the principal on the school website, even though she was being held in jail without bail at that time.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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