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Family testifies for first time in Leslie Chance trial

Todd's family took center stage as they testified to what it was like when they found out Leslie Chance was the main suspect in the case.
Posted at 8:30 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 23:30:20-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — "He was a good kid," said Diana Chance, Todd Chance's mother, as she held back tears in court Thursday.

Todd's family took center stage as they testified to what it was like when they found out Leslie Chance was the main suspect in the case.

Diana said when investigators showed her surveillance video of who they believed was the suspect she immediately said "it was Todd's wife."

"I thought that would break up their family," she testified.

Diana also testified that Leslie once told her she would expel students for taking pictures with guns. Later though, Diana testified, she saw a photo of Leslie holding a gun.

The prosecution replayed the recording Sgt. Kevin Kimmel took when he notified the family of Todd's death. This recording was taken in secret because, as Kimmel testified earlier, he felt something was "off" about how Leslie reacted.

At one point in the recording, detectives were heard being told Todd's Ford Mustang was found. After, someone in the recording is heard asking, "you have the car?"

Prosecutor Art Norris asked Diana to identify that voice. She said it sounded like Leslie.

Another family member called to the stand was Todd's cousin, William Glapenske, who said he and Todd were best friends.

Glapenske said when investigators showed him the surveillance videos, he immediately recognized the woman in the videos as Leslie Chance.

The defense bringing back the name of Carrie Williams, Todd's ex-fiance. Defense attorney Tony Lidgett asked Glapenske about what he told officers regarding Williams in 2013.

"Do you remember telling detectives back in 2013 that the reason [Todd and Williams] broke up was because [Williams] was 'a f-ing psycho, she would whoop his [expletive]?" asked Lidgett.

Glapenske did not remember telling the detective this at first, but after re-reading the police report, he said he remembered.

Lidgett also asked Glapenske if Leslie would have had any reason to kill Todd in 2013. Glapenske testified that he did not believe so.

On top of family, detective Brewer was also called again to testify.

Brewer, along with Sgt. Michael Dorkin, testified about the route they believe the suspect took to get home.

Prosecutors alleged that Leslie Chance called a cab from the Walmart on Panama Lane.

Brewer testified they got surveillance video showing a cab, that they believed was driving the suspect, entering the parking lot of a Sam's Club off of Harris and Gosford roads.

The prosecution then laid out a road map through surveillance video showing a person walking near a Farmers Insurance on Harris Road, behind the Sam's Club. That person is seen crossing Harris and heading into a neighborhood.

Brewer testified they got surveillance video from the neighborhood. He said they found video from a home on Coney Island Drive, just two streets away from the Chance residence,

Prosecutors allege that this was how Leslie got back home.

Lidgett pointed out that there was no surveillance video ever showing where the cab dropped off the passenger or where that passenger went after that.

Prosecutors called Mario Hernandez to testify. They alleged Hernandez was the cab driver who picked up Leslie in 2013. and that he dropped her off in front of the Walmart on Gosford.

The defense asked Hernandez if he had ever picked Leslie out of a photo lineup.

Hernandez testified that in 2013 he thought two of the photos may have been the woman he picked up, but he wasn't sure.

Neither photo he chose was Leslie Chance.

The trial will continue Friday with the defense cross-examining Diana Chance. Leslie's daughter is also expected to take the stand.

Proceedings will resume Friday at 9:15 a.m.