A Colorado judge said last week that “all force reasonably necessary” can be used to make sure an El Paso County woman returns to court for her hearings, in connection with the death of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch.
Letecia Stauch was arrested in 2020 and charged with murder and related charges after prosecutors said she stabbed, shot, and beat her stepson, Gannon, inside their Fountain home. Afterward, she allegedly went to great lengths to cover up the crime scene.
The boy’s body was found in June 2020, in Pace, Florida. He had been stuffed inside a suitcase and left under a bridge.
There is still no set date for Staugh’s murder trial. It has been paused, in part, due to numerous requests for mental health evaluations. Previous evaluations that took place at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo have resulted in the same conclusion: Stauch is competent to stand trial.
Defense lawyers challenged CHIMP’s findings and requested a new test, performed by an out-of-state psychiatrist, The Gazette reports. During the exam, Stauch would have an electroencephalographic (EEG) monitor strapped to her ankle.
Judge Gregory Warner said he would possibly allow another competency exam but needs time to consider whether the EEG monitor could “impact potential diagnosis.” He also wants to consider what “security and safety concerns are” for people around Stauch during any subsequent evaluations.
Meanwhile, Stauch arrived an hour late to Thursday’s hearing last week, resulting in the judge giving her a warning that she must appear at her hearings.
“We had a conversation a while back about you needing to be here, and what it would look like if you (refuse),” Werner warned, adding that he told deputies to use “all force reasonably necessary” to ensure Stauch “leaves the jail on court days.”
“One thing you do not have a choice about going forward is whether you’re going to appear.”
Stauch told the judge that she didn’t refuse to come to court, but she “refused to go without hygiene.” She reportedly insinuated deputies were withholding toilet paper from her, then complained about the transport van lacking air conditioning.
Stauch’s next hearing has been scheduled for October 13.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, prosecutors said in a 32-page affidavit in 2020 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, 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. 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 then-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]