Teen accused of beating counselor to death

OKLAHOMA CITY - Kristie LeGrange hoped she could help the 17-year-old boy who had battled psychotic episodes, sleeplessness and learning disorders. The 26-year-old counselor specialized in working with troubled youngsters.

But authorities say the teen-ager killed LaGrange this week, bashing her head in with a brick during a counseling session at his trailer home.

''She could have chosen any profession, many would have paid better with better benefits,'' her brother Chris said Tuesday, a day after the slaying. ''But the benefits she was looking for were eternal.''

Jack Chance was arrested on suspicion of murder after police found him driving LeGrange's car with her body in the trunk.

''She was a person who truly died doing what she loved to do,'' said Mark Hayes, chief executive of North Care, the counseling center where LeGrange worked.

Psychologists from North Care visit clients at their homes. Teams go out on initial visits but after that, counselors go alone.

''She was never concerned about that, I don't believe,'' sister-in-law Kim LeGrange said Wednesday. ''She really cared about those kids she was seeing.''

LeGrange had gone to the trailer home Monday for an appointment with Chance. He lived there with his grandmother, her common-law husband and another child, the manager of the park said.

Police believe Chance was alone when he allegedly killed LeGrange, then dragged the body to her car. Chance's grandmother told police that her grandson said he had harmed his counselor. A short time later, police said they found him driving the car.

Kathy Chance said her son had suffered from mental illness all his life and had the educational level of a second- or third-grader.

''He really liked her,'' she said about LeGrange. ''I had told her that he needed help, more help than he had been getting.''

The victim's family has released what they called a ''Letter to a Killer,'' written primarily by LeGrange's brother. In it, LeGrange's mother, Betty, wrote that Chance had destroyed her life.

''Dare I say I despise you with every bone in my body. She would probably say 'forgive him.'''


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