The attorneys for a woman accused of killing 11-year-old Colorado boy, Gannon Stauch, say they don’t have video access visitation, which is hindering effective counsel. They’re now pushing for her release amid COVID-19 concerns.
According to documents filed at the El Paso County Court, the El Paso County jail denied murder suspect Letecia Stauch access to a video visit from her attorney in early May. The incident stemmed from an apparent new policy implemented by the Colorado Justice System that requires attorneys to physically come to the jail to visit certain inmates.
Stauch’s lawyer, public defender Kathryn Strobel, explained that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected numerous inmates in Colorado, has made it unsafe for attorneys to travel to the jail and meet with clients in person.
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“Counsel explained that it was not possible for counsel to do an in person visit due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Counsel was subsequently informed that a video visit was not being granted and that the facility would allow counsel entry despite any personal health concerns counsel or any other member of the defense team might have.”
The motion added that denying visitations to an inmate awaiting trial is a violation of the “U.S Constitution, 6th Amendment Right to Counsel and the Due Process Clauses of both the state and federal constitutions.”
A day shift commander at the jail told Strobel, according to court documents, that it was “difficult and time-consuming” to bring Stauch to video visits, given her security status at the jail.
The defense team argued that not only were they denied video access to Stauch, but they still have not received evidence that will help them provide an adequate defense, such as Gannon’s autopsy report and outstanding DNA results on evidence items.
“Among other missing pieces of discovery, DNA results are still outstanding on a number of key pieces of evidence, and [REDACTED] have not been disclosed to the defense.”
Stauch’s next hearing is scheduled for June 5. However, the defense team requested an emergency hearing on the current motion, should the court deny the request.
“Letecia Stauch respectfully moves for an order granting counsel video access to Mr. Stauch [sic] or in the alternative, to authorize a bond to help prevent a public health outbreak of novel coronavirus, COVID-19 in our local jail and community. She requests that the Court grant the motion, or, alternatively, hold an emergency hearing on this motion.”
Letecia Stauch: Motion for… by Leigh Egan on Scribd
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Stauch is currently behind bars without bond. She’s charged with felony murder and related charges in connection with the death of her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon.
Authorities found Gannon’s body in Florida, three months after he disappeared from his Lorson Ranch home, near Colorado Springs. Letecia Stauch was the last known person to see Gannon alive, but she claimed that he left on foot to see a friend and never returned home.
Stauch told CrimeOnline that she’s innocent of the charges against her and that a witness has “officially went on record” with the defense. El Paso County Deputy District Attorney, Michael Allen, however, said during a previous press release the prosecution has more than enough evidence against Stauch to secure a likely conviction.
During a March 11 court hearing, Allen said that authorities had at least 107 search warrants against Stauch.
For the first-degree murder charges, prosecutors allege that Stauch “unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly caused the death of Gannon Stauch, a child who had not yet attained twelve years of age, and the defendant was in a position of trust with respect to the victim.”
Stauch is also accused of mutilating, concealing or altering “a human body, part of a human body, or human remains with the intent to impair” the appearance, as well as concealing and/or altering physical evidence.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Letecia Stauch/KRDO-TV/The Gazette via AP, Pool, Gannon Stauch/Facebook]