Gannon Stauch

Letecia Stauch: Defense Says Alleged Killer Stepmom Has ‘Dissociative Disorder,’ Third Mental Evaluation Could Delay Trial

The trial for accused murderer Letecia Stauch could possibly face another trial delay after the defense requested another mental health evaluation.

During a court hearing Thursday at the El Paso County courthouse in Colorado, Judge Gregory Werner approved the defense’s request to have Stauch evaluated, marking the third time she will undergo a mental health assessment. During the previous two evaluations, Stauch was found competent to stand trial.

According to the defense team, Stauch has a “dissociative disorder” that could have played a role in the death of her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon.

“If he (the defense) were able to successfully show that she has a mental condition that dissociates her mentally from herself after the crime, then he may be able to get some of that evidence barred from the trial,” Stauch’s lawyer, Stephen Longo, said, according to NBC 5.

The prosecution asked Judge Warner to have the latest evaluation completed at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. Warner said during the hearing Thursday that the institute currently has a waitlist of over 300 people.

In order to give Stauch time for the evaluation, Werner rescheduled the next hearing for January 13. Werner added the date may have to be pushed back again if Stauch hasn’t been evaluated by then.

Further, Stauch’s trial, scheduled for March 28, could possibly get pushed back as well, depending on how long the evaluation takes. The completed evaluation must be filed with the court at least 63 days in advance, prior to the trial.

Letecia Stauch makes her first appearance in El Paso County District Court in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Stauch faces several charges, including first-degree murder of a child, in the presumed death of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch. (KRDO-TV/The Gazette via AP, Pool)

As CrimeOnline previously reported, prosecutors said in a 32-page affidavit last year 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.”

Gannon disappeared from his Lorson Ranch neighborhood in Fountain on January 26, 2020. In February 2020, investigators found Gannon’s blood in several areas of the 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 in Gannon’s room. Detectives found blood underneath the carpet in the 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.

Police arrested Stauch in March 2020. Weeks later, a construction worker found Gannon’s body stuffed inside a suitcase and thrown under a bridge in Pace, Florida. Prosecutor Michael Allen said that the child had been beaten, stabbed, and shot.

On February 4, 2020, at around 10:38 a.m., Stauch and her teen daughter drove a van from Colorado Springs and checked into a room at the Candlewood Suites in Pensacola, located near Pace. At 4:30 a.m. the following morning, the van traveled a little under three miles to the Pace Bridge.

The pair then checked out of the hotel, went to Orlando, then drove to South Carolina, where Stauch is originally from.

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 at the time but took a flight to Colorado when she learned her son was missing.

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)

Additional Information

PART ONE: Tecia Stauch Interview

PART TWO: Tecia Stauch Interview

PART THREE: Tecia Stauch Interview

Neighbor Roderrick Drayton Interview

CLICK HERE to see all of our coverage on Gannon Stauch

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[Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Handout; Facebook via Landen Hiott]