A Colorado judge ruled Thursday that Letecia Stauch, who stands accused of killing her stepson, Gannon Stauch, will face trial.
Judge Gregory Werner first went over the case and recapped the evidence presented before ruling that Letecia Stauch’s case would proceed to trial. Stauch appeared for the El Paso County court hearing via WebEx, wearing an orange jumpsuit and a black mask.
Werner began the hearing by declaring most of the evidence in the case is circumstantial but added that 11-year-old Gannon’s blood was found inside his bedroom on February 3, 2020, while investigators searched the Stauch’s rented Colorado Springs home.
Investigators used a “blue-star” solution that lights up when it comes in contact with blood. Sgt. Rosario Hubbell with El Paso County Sheriff’s Office previously testified that the solution did light up and made a trail from Gannon’s room, through the hallway, a storage room, and into the garage.
The solution also picked up several instances of blood spatter inside Gannon’s room. Detectives found blood underneath the carpet in Gannon’s room, which had saturated through the carpet fiber. Hubbell said it was evident that someone attempted to clean the blood on the visible part of the carpet but didn’t bother to clean underneath.
Werner ruled at around 9:20 a.m. MST that Stauch’s case would go to trial, according to Fox 21 reporter Lauren Scharf, who attended the hearing.
Letecia Stauch is expected to return to court in November to enter a plea.
What Happened to Gannon?
As CrimeOnline previously reported, prosecutors said last year in a 32-page affidavit that that “probable cause exists to believe that” Letecia Stauch murdered her stepson on January 27, 2020, the day he was reported missing. 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 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. 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.
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; Facebook via Landen Hiott]