Letecia Stauch, a Colorado woman accused of killing her stepson last year has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges against her.
Stauch appeared in the El Paso County courthouse on Thursday afternoon, to enter her plea to murder and related charges in connection with the death of her stepson, 11-year-old Gannon Stauch.
After Judge Gregory Werner confirmed the plea with Stauch and her attorneys, he set a hearing date for January 6, 2022, followed by a pretrial readiness hearing on March 7.
According to Fox 21 News reporter, Lauren Scharf, who attended the hearing, Stauch didn’t speak. Instead, her attorneys spoke on her behalf.
The prosecution requested that Stauch undergo psychiatric testing at a state hospital, which would make the third mental evaluation for Stauch since she’s been in jail. Werner agreed that Stauch needs an additional evaluation, although he was concerned that it could set back the trial even further.
Werner added that he needs to schedule the evaluation to take place somewhere other than the El Paso County jail, where Stauch is currently housed. Lawyers for both sides are scheduled to meet with the judge for an update on December 9.
The family of #GannonStauch just walked into the courthouse in El Paso County. #LeteciaStauch is set for a plea hearing for the murder of #GannonStauch at 1:30 pm. Follow my updates from inside the courtroom here. @FOX21News The media just got seated in the courtroom. pic.twitter.com/AgwjPVV5Xp
— Lauren Scharf (@LaurenScharfTV) November 4, 2021
Gannon’s family, including his father Al Stauch and mother, Landen Hiott, arrived at the court wearing all blue, which was said to be Gannon’s favorite color. One of his favorite characters was Sonic the Hedgehog, an all-blue video game hedgehog.
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 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 in January 2020. Gannon’s biological mother, Landen Hiott, was in South Carolina at the time.
Gannon’s body was found months later, under a bridge in Pace, Florida, stuffed into a suitcase. He had been shot, beaten, and stabbed.
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.
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]