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California principal skips slain husband’s burial after her arrest, release

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Courtesy ABC News

The husband of a popular elementary school principal, who was initially accused of killing him, was buried Wednesday in his hometown of Shafter, Calif. Their three children and other family and friends reportedly attended the services, but wife Leslie Chance was notably absent on the advice of her legal counsel.

"There was an indication that she wanted to go and I told her she absolutely should not go," her attorney, Kyle J. Humphrey, told ABC News Tuesday. "There will be people who take it wrong if she attends, people who will take it wrong if she doesn't go. But just to avoid that sense of injury and horror and pain that other people feel, there is a time for her to heal over her husband later where it won't be so ugly for other people."

Humphrey has said that his client "is adamant about her innocence."

Chance, 46, was arrested Aug. 29 for allegedly shooting 45-year-old husband Todd Chance multiple times and then dumping his body near an almond orchard, according to police.

She was expected to be arraigned for first-degree murder, but police released her four days later after the district attorney rejected the case against her, sending it back to investigators for further review, Kern County Deputy District Attorney Andrea Kohler told ABCNews.com.

She has not been charged with a crime.

"We did sit down with the Sheriff's Department when it was being submitted to us and we discussed with them various other avenues of investigation," Kohler said. "We work very closely with them and our understanding is that they are going to do further investigation and follow ups for us."

Kohler said she could not elaborate further because of the ongoing investigation, but said there is no statute of limitations on murder and that Chance could be arrested again if more evidence arises in the future.

Chance, a principal at Bakersfield's Fairview Elementary School, is on paid administrative leave, and School District Superintendent Chris Crawford will continue to monitor the  investigation, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Kenneth Chichester said.

Chance and her husband were married for 17 years and have two children together. Leslie Chance has a daughter, Jessica Bullman, 23, from a previous marriage whom Todd Chance helped raise.

"He was the best guy, the best husband, the best dad," Bullman told The Bakersfield Californian. "He's been in my life since I was 4. He was my dad, and he was everything."

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