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Mom Drowns Newborn in Sports Bar Toilet; School Principal Arrested for Murder of Husband

Aired September 3, 2013 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Pennsylvania suburbs. A big crowd at a local sports bar gathers to watch a pay-per-view "Summer Slam" wrestling event, but the big shocker wasn`t on the TV that night, it was in the ladies` room at Starters sports bar, a tiny newborn baby boy dead in the ladies` bathroom toilet tank, umbilical cord ripped off by hand.

Turns out the 26-year-old new mother gives birth, smothers the baby during a TV break, then goes back to the bar to smoke, drink and party hearty and catch the main event.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A cleaning crew allegedly discovered the dead body of a newborn baby wrapped in a plastic bag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the water tank of a toilet in the women`s bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the Starters pub on route 378.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The cause of death is asphyxia. The manner of death is homicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Placed the child, who was alive at the time, into a plastic bag. The bag was then placed into the toilet tank.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to prosecutors, 26-year-old Amanda Catherine Hein went to the Pennsylvania pub to watch a pay-per-view event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At some point, she excused herself and left for the ladies` room and was gone for an extended period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body was placed in a bag and then in the toilet tank reservoir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After the expiration of approximately 40 minutes, Hein returns to table, retrieved her purse and went outside for a smoke. She was 26 years old. She had knowledge for a few months that she was going to give birth to a child. The baby was born alive, and now the baby is deceased. Her actions that committed this -- this -- that made this baby deceased. So it`s a criminal homicide case.


GRACE: And tonight, live, suburban Bankersville (ph). Reading, writing, arithmetic and murder, parents at a highly rated elementary school reeling when their beloved principal`s husband is brutally gunned down on a Sunday morning. The investigation heats up. Prime suspect, the grade school principal herself. Mrs. Chance, teacher from Hell!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On a dirt road off Noriega (ph) near Enos (ph), farmworkers found his body in an almond orchard with a gunshot wound about 15 miles from their home. Deputies say this is the field where they believe Chance shot her husband.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are certain that the person responsible for shooting Mr. Chance was his wife, Leslie (ph) Chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elementary school principal Leslie Chance accused of murdering her husband.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is out of character and very hard to believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chance was arrested after her husband, Todd (ph) Chance, was found shot multiple times, his body dumped in an almond orchard, his car found in a residential area 20 miles away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She never even looked back. She just got out and left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do believe she is the person who drove his vehicle to that neighborhood and left it in that neighborhood and then walked away from the vehicle.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

Bombshell tonight, live to the Pennsylvania suburbs. A big crowd at a local sports bar gathers to watch pay-per-view "Summer Slam" wrestling. But the big shocker was not on the TV tube that night, it was in the ladies` bathroom at Starters sports bar, a tiny newborn baby boy found dead in the ladies` bathroom toilet tank, his umbilical cord ripped off by hand.

We are live and taking your calls. Out to Jean Casarez, HLN correspondent. Jean, what happened?

JEAN CASAREZ, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Nancy, police are saying it was a plastic bag that lined the trash can of the women`s restroom. And that is what the very next day, maintenance workers found because the toilet wouldn`t flush, and there in the toilet bowl was that plastic trash bag, and inside that little baby.

GRACE: You know, I don`t understand it, Jean. It`s my understanding that in that area, there are not one, two, three but approximately four different safe havens.

A save haven, everybody, is when if you decide you don`t want to keep your baby, you can take it and leave it there, no questions asked, like at hospitals, fire stations, police stations.

OK, what do we know about the suspect, Jean?

CASAREZ: Well, you`re talking about Amanda Hein. And we know that she went to this pay-per-view wrestling event with three other men, and they sat in a booth that night. It was specially reserved for them.

She excused herself to go the bathroom. No big deal, right? But she was gone for 40 minutes. And finally, they`re texting her, Where are you? Are you OK?

And she came back out. She had complained of stomach pains, cramping and back pain, but she went out to smoke a cigarette after she got out of that restroom and delivered that baby, police say, and sat in that booth for another hour.

GRACE: So Jean Casarez, she basically goes out during a TV break, gives birth in the ladies` bathroom, grabs the trash bag out of the trash can, bags the baby. He dies of asphyxiation. Sticks him not in the commode itself but in the tank, where you lift the top to repair if you got a commode problem -- sticks him in there and leaves him, then goes out, has a smoke and a drink and watches the main event?

CASAREZ: And then went home for one hour. And there was blood, Nancy, all over the booth. And the male companion she was with saw that and said, Do you want to go a hospital? You need to be taken somewhere? She said, No, no, I`m fine. Adding on, I don`t have medical insurance.

But the probable cause affidavit showed that in May or June of this year, she went to a hospital and found out she was pregnant. She had gone to a hospital before.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Liz in California. Hi, Liz. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m just curious, I had just read it on Facebook. And it just sickens me how time and time again, people do this. It`s ridiculous.

GRACE: You know...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give it up to a hospital, take it to a church. I mean, it`s sick that they could do that and then go back into the bar like nothing happened. Hello? Your baby`s dying in the toilet right now as you`re sitting there drinking. It`s just sick.

GRACE: And here`s the thing, Liz in California. I`m not arguing the abortion argument. I`m not arguing right to choice, right to life, none of that. This is what I know. If you give birth to a viable baby and then kill it, that`s murder.

Straight out to Dr. Joshua Perper, former chief medical examiner, Broward County. Dr. Perper, they`re saying the baby died of asphyxiation but it was born alive. How do we -- how can they tell that?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, FMR. CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, the way they can tell it is by examining whether the lungs have evidence of breathing. You can see if the lungs were breathing or not. If there`s some -- there`s some water in the stomach, that`s indicating the baby ingested some water. That primarily is basically the evidence in the lungs in which the lungs can be placed in water to see if they float and there`s some evidence that there is air in them, and also, microscopically, the area in which the air chambers are expanded.

GRACE: OK, I`m reading from the affidavit of probable cause. Out to Tom Shortell, reporter with "The Express-Times." Tom, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: It says -- yes, sir. It says the discovery of the baby wrapped in a plastic bag placed inside a toilet tank at Starters sports bar. At the time of the discovery, the child was dead. Tom, nobody came in the bathroom? No other women came in the bathroom of the sports bar and noticed there was a lady in there giving birth?

SHORTELL: None that we know at this point. At this point, there hasn`t been a whole lot of information coming out of the Northampton County district attorney`s office or the police. We`re hoping to learn more later this week when a preliminary hearing is held, or scheduled to be held. But as of right now, apparently, no one walked in.

GRACE: Back to Dr. Joshua Perper. Dr. Perper, how do police know that the umbilical cord was torn off by hand, ripped apart by hand?

PERPER: Well, I`m not sure about that because it`s pretty hard to break it by hand. Sometimes, a mother, when she doesn`t have access to medical attention, basically rip that with their teeth. So it`s unclear if -- whether she did it with her teeth or if she ripped off. It wasn`t cut...

GRACE: Did you just say...


GRACE: I`m sorry, Dr. Perper. I`m having a hard time understanding what you just said. Did you say that maybe she ripped the umbilical cord with her teeth?

PERPER: Yes. Yes. That`s what women sometimes did before there was medical attention during delivery. But the fact that the...

GRACE: OK. Never heard that.

PERPER: Right. The fact that the umbilical cord was torn, it`s indicated that there was no clear cut, so she didn`t have a scissor or a knife to cut it.

GRACE: Joining me right now is special guest -- it is John Morganelli. He is the Northampton County district attorney. Sir, thank you for being with us.

JOHN MORGANELLI, NORTHAMPTON CO. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (via telephone): Yes, it`s a pleasure to be with you.

GRACE: You know, John, this took a lot of police and detective work. But once they got going, they discovered through a lot of interviews with people there at the sports bar that this "Summer Slam" wrestling event was a hot ticket and everyone had already reserved booths and tables and all that. Did the police find blood in any of the booths or tables?

MORGANELLI: Yes, they did. Basically, the cleaning crews came in and identified what they thought was blood. And they were cleaning that up, and I believe there was still remnants of that when police were brought to the scene. But a lot of it, Nancy, was, in fact, cleaned up. These are professional cleaners came in as they normally do after an event and clean up the place.

You know, they weren`t thinking of anything of this nature and -- but I believe there were still some remnants, and there was lots of witnesses who described what they saw, as well.

GRACE: OK. Everybody, with me and taking your calls is the district attorney out of Northampton County. Joining me from Easton, John Morganelli.

John, you`re talking about remnants, all right? That`s certainly putting perfume on the pig. What do you mean by remnants in the booth?

MORGANELLI: Well, there was lots of blood around. But you know, Nancy, in the bathroom itself, from what I`m told -- and I don`t have all the police reports in here yet. We`ve just been getting oral summaries...

GRACE: Oh, man!

MORGANELLI: ... so far, but we do know that it appears that the bathroom itself was cleaned up, that the suspect in this case very well may have cleaned up the inside of the bathroom pretty well.

GRACE: Whoa! Whoa! Talk about intent and premeditation and cleaning up after the crime. That clearly knows -- she knew what she did was wrong. I mean, I don`t -- there`s no real delicate way to put this, Mr. Morganelli. But in the past, we have had women who give birth, and they kill the baby, say, Oh, I didn`t even know I was pregnant. I just thought I was having stomach cramps.


GRACE: But here, we`ve got the woman -- the baby was not in the toilet bowl. And this is very significant, actually. The baby was wrapped in a plastic bag and put in the tank, which shows she knew she gave birth and she put the baby in the tank.

MORGANELLI: Well, you know from your experience as a prosecutor that this is all very important evidence, and it certainly leads to a potential conclusion that there was specific intent here and a murder one potential case.

GRACE: OK, with me, everybody, and taking your calls, is the district attorney. His office is going to be handling this case.

Now, I promise you when this woman goes in front of a jury, which she probably will, she is going to be fixed up, gussied up. She`ll probably look like a school librarian.

But Mr. Morganelli, isn`t it true, based on police reports and witnesses` accounts, that after she came out of the bathroom from giving birth, killing the baby, disposing the body, cleaning up the scene, she goes out and has a smoke and continues partying?

MORGANELLI: That is true. She did go outside. Her three male friends were inquiring whether she was OK. She said she was. And she did return and watched the rest of the match before she then was brought home by the three male companions.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the affidavit of probable cause, investigators found a large quantity of brown staining and liquid consistent with blood in booth number seven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There appeared to be some spilled liquid on or about her that looked like blood, or that she may have had some bleeding. He asked Hein multiple times if she needed to go the hospital. She refused.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hein allegedly -- she admitted -- admitted giving birth to -- in the bathroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She admitted that the baby was born in the stall and that she, in fact, put the baby in the bag, put it in the toilet, and that the baby was (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The child was approximately between 33 and 36 weeks` gestation. The baby was born alive and viable. The cause of death was suffocation and the manner of death is homicide.


GRACE: That little baby never had a chance. And to all of you mothers out there, like myself, who wanted children your whole life -- this woman, age 26, has a baby boy. A healthy baby boy, and according to police reports, she goes to a wrestling TV pay-per-view event at a sports bar. In a TV break, she goes to the bathroom, the ladies` room, gives birth, kills the baby, hides the body, cleans up the scene, goes out and has a smoke and watches the rest of the pay-per-view.

You`re seeing video of WWE "Summer Slam" event right now. This is what she left her dead baby in the commode to go see. Take a look.

Joining me is a special guest, John Morganelli, also taking your calls. To the lines. Ashley in Pennsylvania. Hi, Ashley. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Actually, I have a comment. I had saw seen on Facebook that you were asking if we feel that she should get the death penalty, or what she should get. I feel personally she should get the death penalty.

I`m in college and I`m a criminal justice major, and infanticide is something I`ve studied for a while. And surprisingly, it`s very common for women to kill their kids, but you see it more, like, younger women, like, young girls, because they`re shocked -- Oh, my God (INAUDIBLE) Oh, I didn`t know I was pregnant. I didn`t know what to do. So they kill the baby.

But with her, she`s 26. She knew she was pregnant. And she could have just given the baby to somebody, even just dropped it off. And it`s just so appalling because she`s very -- what happened -- she`s very close to where I live and you hear about this, and it`s just, like, shocking.

GRACE: Out to John Morganelli, the district attorney in Northampton. John, again, thank you for being with us. John, over all the years that I practiced law, prosecuting, I noticed that very often, prosecutors plead down a case where an infant is the victim.

And I think it`s a mixed bag, John. I think that prosecutors believe that a jury will feel sorry for a mother. Look at tot mom. They think, Oh, a mother couldn`t possibly do anything like this. You know, the police must be wrong because they think about their own mother and they just can`t imagine such a heinous deed.

What do we know? I mean, I`ve read a lot of the police reports. I`m sure you know a lot more than I do about the case. Has she given a statement, John?

MORGANELLI: Well, we do have a statement from her, and I think some of it was alluded to earlier tonight and also in the affidavit of probable cause, that she acknowledged that -- you know, that she gave birth. She acknowledged that she, in fact, basically disconnected in some fashion manually or otherwise the umbilical cord from the baby to herself. She acknowledged a lot of this stuff.

GRACE: Hey, hey, John?

MORGANELLI: So we -- we have a strong case, I think.

GRACE: When you say that -- when you say that, she manually disconnected the umbilical cord, what do you mean by that?

MORGANELLI: She acknowledged tearing it, and that`s the way she described it, she had to tear it. So -- and obviously, as your expert witness said, there was evidence that it was torn rather than, like, surgically cut with scissors that normally would have a uniform mark to it. So we believe she did this, and she`s basically acknowledged that.

This is not a case of what happened. We know what happened. I mean, I think, Nancy, as you know, we`re going to have some sort of mental health defense in this case, probably. It`s not a whodunnit. It`s going to be whether -- what`s the degree here.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... a good look at the photos of this baby, and I didn`t really need anyone to tell me that it was between 33 and 36 because it looks like a full-term baby, as far as I was concerned when I saw it visually. And it was very upsetting to see that and hear the facts.

You know, it`s a sad situation. This young lady made a very, very bad choice. Why, I don`t know. But you know, the criminal justice system does have to protect everyone, and this is a child.


GRACE: You know, I`m just remembering, when I gave birth, Lucy weighed two pounds. Two pounds. And they were so tiny. You know, I`m just trying to imagine -- out to Marc Klaas, president, founder, Klaas Kids Foundation. You know, all I wanted to do, my sole purpose in life, Marc, as you know, was to make them live. Every day, I would pray, God help me make them live one more day, when I brought them home from the hospital, God let me live -- let them live until six months, let them live until one year. Just show me what to do to make these twins live.

Instead, this mother has a beautiful baby boy, and her thought is, How do I kill the baby, hide the body, clean up the ladies` bathroom and get back out there to the wrestling event on the TV, the pay-per-view!

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Such a -- such a little regard for life, Nancy. As has been pointed out many times, she knew she was pregnant. She had all kinds of options ahead of her. Even if she hadn`t made a decision, the safe haven laws are put in place specifically for women to drop babies off that they can`t keep. She decided not to do that. She has no soul.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mother who left her child in a bathroom toilet tank at a local restaurant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a pay-per-view event that was held at Starters. I believe it was a wrestling -- some kind of wrestling match

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She allegedly gave birth to a baby in a bar bathroom, killed him and then left his body in a toilet tank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Hein stayed there for approximately another hour watching this pay-per-view event.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neighbors of 26-year-old Amanda Hein of Allentown say they can`t even believe she was pregnant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did she look pregnant to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma`am. Not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to investigators, more than eight months along.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Pennsylvania death penalty statute provides that if -- if it is an intentional killing, a first degree murder of a victim under the age of 12, it would be a capital case, yes.


GRACE: Welcome back. For those of you just joining us, a 27-year-old woman goes to a local sports bar with her friends for some type of a pay- per-view, summer slam wrestling event. She goes in the bathroom in a TV break, gives birth to a healthy baby boy, kills the baby, wraps him in a plastic bag. He dies of asphyxiation. Sticks him in the tank. Cleans up the scene. Goes and has a smoke and a drink, and watches the rest of the wrestling event.

Let`s see the wrestling event that she watched instead of saving her baby boy, her first child. She dashes back out after the clean-up in the ladies` bathroom to watch that. That`s YouTube video of the WWE summer slam. OK, get this in your head.

Unleash the lawyers. Renee Rockwell, David Wolf. Let`s just picture this. Imagine John Morganelli, the district attorney who was on with me tonight, painting this scene for the jury, of her giving birth, holding the baby up. I don`t see the lawyers. Ripping the umbilical cord off with her bare hands, blood streaming down her hands as she stuffs the baby in a plastic bag, knots it, and puts it in a toilet tank.

All right, Wolf, you`ve tried a lot of murder cases. Give me your best defense.

DAVID WOLF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think Mr. Morganelli said it pretty straight. You don`t know that girl, you don`t know what caused the pregnancy. You don`t know if she was raped. You don`t know her state of mind.

GRACE: I think I know what caused the pregnancy.

WOLF: And you, well, OK.

GRACE: I`m pretty sure I know where babies come from.

WOLF: You don`t know her state of mind at the time the incident occurred.

GRACE: Really? Really? She goes outside and has a smoke and a drink and focuses on the world wrestling event.

WOLF: She did not have a drink. Don`t add facts. She didn`t have a drink. She went out and had a smoke. When she arrived she told the people she was there with she didn`t feel well, she was ill, she was hurting. She went into the bathroom.

GRACE: Actually, she said she was having a back spasm when she knew she was pregnant.

WOLF: Right. She knew she was a pregnant and nobody else did. Don`t you think some of the circumstances surrounding why she was there and why she was in that condition goes behind what she did? I think all those things have to be looked into before you start talking about the death penalty.

GRACE: I don`t know, Renee, why don`t we ask the baby what he thinks, all right, as to why mommy murdered him. I don`t think it matters. She never wanted to have the baby to start with.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Still a little too early. She could have had the little green guy sitting on her shoulder telling her what to do. She might have been delusional. She might not have known the difference between right or wrong. It`s still too early.

GRACE: What are you talking about? What green man on her shoulder? What are you talking about?

ROCKWELL: I don`t know. It is still too early. She might be crazy, Nancy.



GRACE: Let`s have a moment to breathe like a fine wine. To John Morganelli, the district attorney in that jurisdiction, who is charged with handling this case. Dr. Morganelli, did she have any history whatsoever of emotional or mental problems?

MORGANELLI: Well, we`re still developing that information. I`m not aware of any at the present time, but, you know, I have been doing this for 21 years, and it`s just about every one of these people come through with some type of mental health stuff after the crime occurs. Even if there wasn`t an existing prior, you can bet it will be there now. You know, we have to see how that shakes out. But that`s what I am expecting here. But you know, Nancy, as you point out, we have a very strong case of murder first degree. I think we can prove premeditation. We can prove--


GRACE: I`m just sick about it, John. I`m just sick about it. Out to you, Caryn Stark, psychologist. You remember when the twins were born, how tiny they were. Can you imagine putting one of them in a plastic bag and sticking it in the commode? This woman that we know of at this hour has had no history whatsoever of mental illness. She hid her pregnancy from everyone. She did not want the baby. And instead of giving it to a safe- haven, she killed it.

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: Crazy like every other murderer we deal with, Nancy. There is nothing crazy about her. She has a pathological existence. There`s somebody who is able to use so much force to cut off her feelings that she could do all of these things, she could give birth, she could sit there while she`s giving birth, and then finally go to a bathroom, clean up the whole mess, kill the baby, and then go outside and smoke a cigarette. That`s disassociative behavior. She was just cut off.

GRACE: To Alexis Weed, Alexis, back to something that Jean Casarez and Mr. Morganelli, John Morganelli mentioned, is it true that she conducted the clean-up in the bathroom, Alexis? Because in my mind that shows she knew what she was doing was wrong, and in our justice system (inaudible) brought over from Great Britain is did you know right from wrong at the time of the incident. Was there a clean-up, Alexis?

ALEXIS WEED: The workers that were there the next day, they clean these bathrooms every single day, and that`s why they knew this must have happened the night before. All those clean-up crew were doing was just cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the toilets as usual. Nothing to indicate there was anything out of the ordinary in the bathroom, except once they lifted up this tank of this toilet and found the baby.

GRACE: And isn`t it true, Alexis, she was mentally stable enough to hold down a job?

WEED: Yes. Sources tell me that she worked at a dog sitting business and that she excelled so much at this dog sitting, taking care of the animals, giving them their medication, that she was asked to increase her hours and begin working more and more. So she did hold down a job.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. David Wolf, veteran defense attorney, Atlanta. Renee Rockwell, trial lawyer. David Wolf, so she holds down a job, she manages to keep her pregnancy a secret from everyone else. She has the wherewithal to lie about what`s wrong with her, why she`s feeling bad. We know she went to the hospital. They told her she was pregnant. She comes back out and has the wherewithal to lie to everyone, and nothing is wrong. Smokes a cigarette and enjoys the wrestling event. Where is the insanity coming in?

WOLF: There`s no evidence she enjoyed the wrestling event. The fact that she was sitting there bleeding--

GRACE: She sat there and watched it.

WOLF: No, you speculate that she watched it.

GRACE: I am not speculating. That`s what the witnesses said.


WOLF: No. The witnesses actually say she sat there, she was bleeding, she was not doing well, and he drove her home later that evening. And with the --

GRACE: After the event was over.

WOLF: Yes. The guy drove her home. How else was she supposed to get home?

GRACE: After she watched the event.

WOLF: There was no premeditation. If there was premeditation, why would she have to take the plastic bag out of the container in the bathroom? There`s no evidence that she cleaned the bathroom. What they said was--


GRACE: Put him up. David, you know what? You might want to feed a line of B.S. to the viewers, but all three us, including Mr. Morganelli on this panel who is the elected D.A. in that jurisdiction, knows premeditation can be formed in an instant, and the time it takes you to reach down and grab that trash -- don`t say no to me.

WOLF: Mr. Morganelli will tell you that when they confronted the lady she admitted to doing these things. She regretted it then when it was over. But just because she was having some sort of post-partum dilemma.


GRACE: Postpartum? The baby was only five minutes old. And another thing, don`t bring up regretting the deed. And don`t look at me like that. Like you don`t know what I`m talking about. You and I have tried cases against each other.

WOLF: I do know what you`re talking about. I know that. Why don`t they take her to this place. Why don`t they take her to that place.

GRACE: Cut his mic. Cut his mic. You know that you may immediately regret the deed. Isn`t this the law, John Morganelli, when they immediately regret the deed. But that does not erase the intent to commit a crime.

MORGANELLI: That`s correct. That`s what we`ll be looking at very closely, and the facts will be presented to a jury, and it will be up to them. But it has all the elements of first degree murder as I look at it at the present time.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elementary school principal Leslie Chance accused of murdering her husband.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say she fired multiple gun shots into her husband, Todd Chance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is the principal of a school of kids, and to commit murder, now what are the kids going to think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe he was possibly shot in the vehicle out at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No indication Leslie and Todd had a bad marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are certain that the person responsible for shooting Mr. Chance was his wife, Leslie Chance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chance faces a judge. Her husband will be buried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Murder charge, the last thing parents, students and colleagues would ever have guessed.


GRACE: Whoa. You know, reading, writing, arithmetic and murder. This is a very highly rated elementary school, a grade school. This is the principal. Beloved principal Chance.

Parents reeling after principal Chance`s husband gunned down, brutally shot dead. The investigation heats up, and all eyes turn towards none other than the grade school principal, Mrs. Chance. Teacher from hell, or are the police misguided?

You know, out to Victoria Taft, talk show host. Victoria, at our school, the principal sits outside and she is truly beloved. She knows every student that comes in. They run up. My children run up and hug her. I run up and hug her. I love her. I`m sure these parents felt the same way.

VICTORIA TAFT, TALK SHOW HOST: Absolutely did. In fact, they are shocked today at the school. They cannot believe that the principal has been arrested on murder charges. Some people don`t want to believe it. Others decided to do something else at school on Friday when they found out.

GRACE: OK. I`m having a hard time taking it all in because I have looked thoroughly into Mrs. Chance, the elementary grade school principal. She has been an educator for like 15 years. Everybody loves her. Loves her, loves her, loves her. She`s been married for a long time. They got several children. What happened?

TAFT: Well, Nancy, she was a teacher at this school since 1997. So she`s a long-time pillar of that little community. Then she became vice principal, and then about four years ago, three, four years ago, she became the principal. She was part of the community. She had been married to her husband for 17 years. They had three kids. So here we have a woman who by all understanding had a great marriage, and then this.

GRACE: OK. I`m missing something. I`m having a hard time connecting the dots. Out to Clark Goldband. Tell me how it went down.

GOLDBAND: Well, it was a Sunday morning, authorities say that this principal and her husband went out for a drive. They ended up by an almond farm somehow, and then law enforcement says this man was shot dead multiple times, his body left there near the almond field, later discovered by workers. Authorities say they questioned the woman multiple times throughout the week. It was just a few days ago law enforcement has arrested her, and she`s being held in custody charged with his murder.

GRACE: OK. Let`s go back to those facts, Clark. It`s a Sunday morning, it`s about 7:30 a.m. They go for a drive in his black Mustang. It`s his car, right?

GOLDBAND: Yes, Nancy.

GRACE: He`s a truck driver, yes?


GRACE: Just give me yes, no if possible. Was he a long haul truck driver? Would he be away from home for long periods of time. Do we know?

GOLDBAND: No. We don`t know.

GRACE: Any domestics to the home?

GOLDBAND: Not that we know of.

GRACE: Anybody got a boyfriend or girlfriend?

GOLDBAND: Not that we know of.

GRACE: Life insurance policy?

GOLDBAND: Not that we know of.

GRACE: Anybody getting beaten up in the home?

GOLDBAND: Not that we know of. In fact, we couldn`t find any criminal records.

GRACE: All right, hold on, let`s back it up. 7:30 a.m. They leave the house 7:30. How do we know they were together?

GOLDBAND: Law enforcement is saying this.

GRACE: So they know. The body is found shot multiple times, including in the arm. Was it the left or the right arm?

GOLDBAND: We don`t know.

GRACE: I wonder if he was driving. Do we know if he was shot in the car, Clark, in the car or outside the car?

GOLDBAND: Law enforcement is saying they believe in the car, Nancy.

GRACE: They got to know that from blood splatter. All right. So somehow she had to get him, if she did it, out of the car, and out in a field. Clark, how far was he from the car, do we know?

GOLDBAND: No, we don`t know.

GRACE: I`m just trying to figure out did she have help. Well, how did she get back home? If she shot him in the car. Dumps him in an orchard of some sort.


GRACE: That`s 11 miles from the home. How does she get back?

GOLDBAND: Here`s what law enforcement is saying. They are saying she drove a few miles away to a subdivision, left the car, and then allegedly just walks back about four miles to her home.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The principal, Leslie Jennay (ph) Chance, was accused of shooting her husband to death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got the wrong person this time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know. I`m shocked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some parents said Chance seemed like a great principal who really cared about the kids. Others said they had problems in dealing with Chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we`re confident that there`s enough evidence to show that Leslie Chance is responsible for Mr. Chance`s shooting death.


GRACE: Yes. His body was found shot multiple times out in an almond orchard 11 miles from their home. OK, Clark Goldband, you were saying the theory is she shoots him in the car, somehow dumps his body. But I`m not sure, I`m trying to figure if somebody helped her. That`s where I`m going with this.

GOLDBAND: Law enforcement --

GRACE: Go ahead.

GOLDBAND: Law enforcement, they are saying they believe she acted alone, Nancy, and is the sole person responsible for his death.

GRACE: Well, if I knew -- see, it looks to me like he`s out under some trees. Which means if she shot him in the car, she`d have to drag him that far, then drive the car and dump it in a nearby neighborhood and walk home.

Andrew Scott, former chief, Boca Raton police force, president of AJS consulting, is there a witness that places her getting out of that car and walking off?

ANDREW SCOTT, AJS CONSULTING: Absolutely. There is a neighbor in that subdivision where she was seen getting out of a car or at least a woman that fit her description parked the car. I believe the witness thought it was a stolen vehicle at the time, and then saw the woman described as the wife -- the principal -- and subsequently leave the car. So originally the witness thought it was stolen and obviously thought that was suspicious.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Chandra in Georgia. Hi, Chandra, what`s your question?

CALLER: Yes. I was just wondering what was the reason for her shooting him? I mean, there`s no reason for anybody to ever do that.

GRACE: Well, Chandra, I`ve got to tell you, I thought the same thing too. What did he do to get shot? All right? Did he beat her? Did he cheat on her? Did he steal all the money and go gambling? But, Chandra, there is nothing in the record that we know of that was going on. To Dr. Joshua Perfer, former chief medial examiner, Broward County, he clearly didn`t commit suicide because he was shot multiple times.

DR. JOSHUA PERFER, FORMER CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER, BROWARD COUNTY: That`s correct. The fact that he was shot -- and also depends on the area where he was shot. If they are shooting someone or hitting someone or killing by damaging the area, which is the sexual area, like the breasts or the area of the genitalia, this has sometimes because they are either very angry or it`s a sexual element to that. But in my opinion in this case, the circumstances indicate that if there was some kind of planning, it was minimal. And there was a lot of rage in the infliction of those injuries.

GRACE: You`re right about the planning, unless they always carried a gun in the car. Unleash the lawyers. David Wolf, defense attorney Renee Rockwell. Trial lawyer, Atlanta. All right, Renee. Chime in. I want to hear this. Give me your best defense.

ROCKWELL: Nancy, that might not be a bad spot to go to trial. Did you hear the man say she never would have done something like that?

GRACE: Well, every defense lawyer says that. I`m very --

ROCKWELL: No, not every defense lawyer says that.

GRACE: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So the best thing you`ve got for me is she would have never have done that.

ROCKWELL: Nancy, did she make a statement? Did anybody see her?

GRACE: Yes. That`s what Clark just told you. David Wolf, you know, putting a baseball hat on really doesn`t do the trick. Because people saw her get out of the car, put on a baseball hat, tuck her hair up under it, and walk off. And just leave the car.

WOLF: Well, what they said was that the person walking away from the vehicle was wearing a baseball cap. The description was 5`6, 145 pounds. And they were walking away from the witness.


GRACE: We remember American hero, Army Corporal Jacob Carver. Just 20. Freeman (ph), Missouri. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal. Parents Rosa and Arthur. Brother Tony. Sister Heather. Jacob Carver, American hero.

And now back to the investigation of the beloved principal now accused of gunning down her husband and dumping his body. Out to you, Clark Goldband, what do the neighbors say in the neighborhood where the car, the family car, was abandoned?

GOLDBAND: There`s a neighbor in a published report who says she saw a female about 5`6 get out of the car wearing a baseball hat, her hair tucked inside the hat, and just walk away from the vehicle after sitting in it for a few minutes. In fact, the neighbor thought this was so strange, she believed the car had been stolen.

GRACE: Everyone, as we go to break, a special good night from friends Santa (ph) and birthday boy Lexus. He is celebrating his fifth birthday and dreams of being both a firefighter and a cop. Isn`t he gorgeous? And also, congratulations to one of our superstars, Justin, and his beautiful new wife Robin. Here the newlyweds are at their Florida beach wedding. Justin goes all the way back to Court TV with me as one of my first producers. Happy birthday to one of our other stars, Beth. Loves her two children, Katelyn (ph) and Christopher. And oh, yes, husband Bill. Love you too.

Everybody, Dr. Drew coming up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.