Letecia Stauch is a woman from Colorado who has been charged with the murder of her eleven year old stepson Gannon Staunch. According to court documents Letecia Stauch would shoot and stab the eleven year old boy while his father was serving in the National Guard. Letecia Stauch would tell police that Gannon had disappeared after going to a friends house. Police in Florida would find the eleven year old’s remain stuck in a suitcase and underneath a bridge in Pensacola.
Letecia Stauch whose trial is going to begin at the end of March 2022 has recently changed her plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. Since being locked up Letecia Stauch has faced additional charges for attacking a deputy and planning a jail break.
Letecia Stauch More News
On Friday, an El Paso County woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch, asked to change her plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
The judge said he will allow the plea to go forward, but Stauch will have to go through a mental health evaluation.
The evaluation is expected to take longer than normal and the judge said he did not know if the trial date was “in jeopardy”.
Investigators believe Letecia Stauch killed her stepson in their Lorson Ranch home on January 27, 2020, before driving his body to the Florida panhandle where it was eventually discovered in March 2020.
Stauch faces over a dozen charges, including first-degree murder.
Stauch’s defense also asked for a motion not to have a jury due to a large amount of publicity the case has received, which will make it difficult to find a fair jury.
Stauch’s defense attorney said he wants more time to discuss the jury with Stauch, since the decision is ultimately hers.
Both the judge and the prosecution argued that waiving a jury would be premature.
The judge went on to address Stauch directly and said without a jury, she gives up the possibility of a second chance at a trial. He went on to ensure her that, in his experience, jurors come in with an open mind.
“I think jurors really, really take their obligation seriously,” said the judge. “They are going to decide this case based on fact.”
The judge says he believes they should vacate the trial date and keep the March 17 date as the next court appearance.
The trial date will depend on when the mental health evaluation is completed.
Letecia Stauch Other News
Thursday pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and 12 other charges.
In addition to the murder charge, Stauch’s charges include child abuse and tampering with evidence related to the killing of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch. If convicted of the top charge, she faces life in prison.
Stauch appeared in the courtroom for the first time in months after opting to appear virtually for earlier hearings. Fourth Judicial District Judge Gregory Werner ordered she appear in-person to enter a plea. She wore a short-sleeved, orange jumpsuit and shackles around her hands and ankles that attached to a chain around her waist.
Though the not guilty plea was not for reason of insanity, defense attorney Josh Tolini notified the court that he would likely be entering evidence from a mental health expert on at least some of the charges, though not specifically related to the murder count.
Colorado law says Stauch must now undergo a mental health evaluation, Tolini said after the hearing; he and District Attorney Michael Allen, the lead prosecutor on the case, will argue at a December court date about the “fine minutia” of what that evaluation could look like.
Allen said after the hearing that the move was “a little bit rare.”
Multiple mental health experts had previously determined Stauch was competent, causing the judge to determine in January that she could stand trial.
Werner on Thursday scheduled the trial for March 28. It is expected to last about six weeks.
Investigators believe Stauch killed Gannon sometime after 2 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2020. She seemingly cooperated with authorities who were searching for Gannon when he was reported missing, but authorities quickly began to suspect a homicide. Deputies searched the Stauch home on Feb. 3.
The Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office in Florida announced it had found Gannon’s body less than two months later on March 18. Santa Rosa County is on the Florida Panhandle, east of Pensacola.
Investigators determined that Gannon was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest and back.
A weapons expert determined bullets found in Gannon’s head and his pillowcase matched the type of ammunition used in a gun found on the nightstand in Stauch’s bedroom. The gun had Stauch’s DNA on it, but also the DNA of at least two other people, an investigator testified.
Investigators found Gannon’s blood on the bed, on the wall next to it and stained into the floor beneath it.
Defense attorneys sought to create doubt that Stauch committed the murder by suggesting that someone else could have entered the home around the time Gannon died, and sought to tie home security data with the unknown DNA on the gun investigators found.
But FBI agent Andrew Cohen testified in September that Stauch was the only person investigators believe could have committed the murder.
“I haven’t seen any evidence of anyone else coming into the house,” Cohen said