Letecia Stauch, a Colorado woman currently behind bars in connection with the death of her stepson, Gannon Stauch, told a judge on Friday that she intends to represent herself during her trial.
Stauch appeared before Judge Gregory Werner at the El Paso County courthouse in El Paso County, Colorado, and claimed she was a “professional” who “knows how this works.” Werner asked Stauch a series of questions to ensure she knew what she was getting into.
Werner asked Stauch if she knew how to select a jury, and submit evidence to the court. Stauch said she would use the jail’s library to learn. Werner warned Stauch that she risks losing advantages without an attorney.
“I understand that, but also know that I’m so confident that there are 2 pieces of evidence that no science or expert can discredit and it will clear my name,” Stauch said, according to KDRO.
Judge: “Well, don’t tell them to us right now…Isn’t it fair to say that evidence won’t come in?”
Stauch: It will.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 11 and 12. The prosecution intends to present evidence in the case. The judge will then decide if there is sufficient evidence to bring the case to trial.
The news comes after Stauch was found to stand competent in the trial by two different psychiatrists.
On Friday, the judge continued to question Stauch’s decision, giving her ample time to back out.
“I’ve come to find that the word expert doesn’t hold much value, and I’m the expert here,” Stauch replied. “I think that I could do it on my own sir; it’s a constitutional right.”
“Sir, I know it sounds audacious, but I was very good at poker. You gotta know when to hold them or when to fold them. I wouldn’t be this confident without an ace in the hole.”
District Attorney Michael Allen said that Stauch representing herself will not change anything in the way the prosecution proceeds.
“We’re also going to make sure we satisfy that burden of proof regardless if someone has an attorney or if they’re representing themselves,” Allen said.
What Happened to Gannon?
Last year, prosecutors said in a 32-page affidavit that that “probable cause exists to believe that” Letecia Stauch murdered her stepson. Text messages and Internet searches indicate that Stauch may have possibly been overwhelmed with taking care of Gannon.
Search queries allegedly found on Stauch’s phone included, in part:
- find real military singles
- parenting should be 4 people, not one
- ‘im doing all the work for my stepkids and their mom doesnt help
- I wonder if my husbands wife is sending me a card since I. raise. her. kids
- why should my husband choose me over family
- one day some people will wish. they treated you differently
- find me a rich guy who. wants me to take care of his kids
“Based on Letecia’s internet history, it’s reasonable to believe she was unhappily married to Mr. Stauch and had some degree of resentment toward the family as a stepparent,” the affidavit read. “Furthermore, days before Gannon’s murder, Letecia appeared to be researching a move to another state to a two-bedroom apartment.”
Stauch was the sole caregiver at the time of the boy’s disappearance and death. Gannon lived with Stauch and his father, Al Stauch, at the time of his death.
Al Stauch was on a work trip with the U.S. National Guards in Oklahoma when his son vanished. Gannon’s biological mother, Landen Hiott, was in South Carolina. Gannon’s body was found months later, under a bridge in Pace, Florida.
According to the affidavit, Stauch brutally attacked and killed Gannon inside his bedroom on January 27, 2020. Despite a neighbor who said his video showed Stauch leaving with Gannon that morning and later returning home alone, investigators believe that “Gannon likely did return home with Letecia that afternoon,” and died inside the residence.
Evidence from inside Gannon’s bedroom includes blood spatter on the walls, blood that soaked through the carpet, 50 droplets of blood on the wall, blood on wall sockets, and blood on the boy’s mattress.
“Based on the orientation of Gannon’s bed, the vast majority of the blood would be in line with the position of his head and torso,” the affidavit read.
A store receipt obtained by investigators showed a purchase for baking soda, a carpet cleaner, and trash bags on January 27, after 6 p.m. Investigators obtained Stauch’s phone and according to text messages, she instructed her 17-year-old daughter to buy the items for her.
Prosecutors allege that Stauch used the purchased items to clean up the crime scene. Investigators said the 17-year-old was likely not present when Gannon was killed.
Stauch said that she maintains her innocence and alleged that Al Stauch “should be in jail for manslaughter.”
During a jailhouse interview with CrimeOnline in September 2020, Letecia Stauch explained that Al Stauch allegedly owed someone named “Edgar” money, and Gannon disappeared after the money was never paid. She claimed she knew about Edgar but at the time, went along with her husband because he claimed he would “pull some strings” to help her out.
“Where they [the police] messed up is [January] 27. He [Gannon] was on a train. You see what I’m saying? I’m thinking that that’s their thing, but, but it’s not because they came to my house with hours of body cam. There was nothing. Like, you check my car on the body cams, you take everything. You [law enforcement] just don’t like it. There was no way, you know what I mean?
“Their timeframe, it was all wrong because they couldn’t figure it out. Where was he [Gannon]? He truly was gone. He was with Edgar.”
“He [Al Stauch] should be here for manslaughter because it was on January 28th. That’s why the police didn’t have anything…Albert came in on the 28th from the airport and was like in a moment of rage. I mean, I could be on the low end and I could say, you know, he should be here for murder, but I’m not, I’m saying that it should be, I guess manslaughter would be the right thing.”
Stauch added that she wouldn’t reveal the true identity of Edgar, which could possibly be a pseudonym, because he has “dangerous affiliations.”
CrimeOnline could not independently verify the validity of Stauch’s claims. Sgt. Mynatt with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said there is an active gag order in the case and could not confirm if Letecia Stauch made a report with law enforcement.
Albert Stauch has not been named a suspect or a person of interest in the case. Last year, he broke down during a memorial for his son, held in Florida.
“I just wish my angel wasn’t in heaven,” Albert Stauch said. “Only after the memories came spilling in from his classmates and friends, did I really understand the impact my son had.”
Letecia Stauch maintained that not only did she not harm Gannon, but her stories to law enforcement were convoluted and inconsistent because she lost track of what her husband wanted her to say.
“I totally had lost track of what he [Albert Stuach} was telling me to say. And I, it wasn’t even mentally OK. And he just kept saying, ‘I got the Tri-Care, I got 16 years in the military. Don’t worry about it.’ You know? And I always lived all the time forgiving him. Like, come on, I forgive them for multiple affairs, how much emotional abuse I was under with that situation, you know?”
Since January, Letecia Stauch has made wide-ranging and varied explanations, to both the media and the police on how Gannon disappeared. According to the affidavit, Letecia Stauch also told differing stories to her husband about the boy’s disappearance and claims of sexual assaults.
- She told Albert Stauch that a man named “Eguardo,” who she hired to clean carpet in her home, sexually assaulted her before abducting Gannon.
- She also told Albert Stauch that a convicted sex offender, Quincy Brown, raped her at her residence before abducting Gannon.
- She later added that Quincy Brown stopped her while she was driving by lying down in the street. Once she stopped her car, she said Brown jumped in the vehicle and forced her to drive home, where he raped her.
- She said that Brown abducted Gannon near Highway 105 and County Line Road after the boy fell off his bike and hit his head. She claimed a man named Terence was in the car with Brown.
CrimeOnline could not reach Albert Stauch for comment.
Letecia Stauch is facing charges of:
- Murder in the First-Degree (Child Under Twelve-Position of Trust §18-3-102(1)(f))
- Child Abuse Resulting in Death §18-6-401(1)(a), (7)(A)(I)
- Tampering with a Deceased Human Body, §18-8-610.5
- Tampering with Physical Evidence, §18-8-610(1)(a)
PART ONE: Tecia Stauch Interview
PART TWO: Tecia Stauch Interview
PART THREE: Tecia Stauch Interview
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[Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Handout; Letecia Stauch via KRDO-TV/The Gazette/ AP, Pool]