Gannon Stauch

Stauch Trial: Accused Killer Stepmom Asks Psych Staff if They Know When Someone Fakes Mental Illness

Testimony continued Wednesday afternoon in the Letecia Stauch murder trial; she stands accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch.

As CrimeOnline reported, prosecutors say Stauch stabbed, shot, and beat Gannon inside the family’s El Paso County home in Colorado, on January 27, 2020. Months later, his body was found stuffed into a suitcase beneath a bridge in Pace, Florida.

Stauch is now on trial at the El Paso County Court, facing first-degree murder and related charges

Dr. Loandra Torres, with the Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health for the State of Colorado (OCFMH), took the stand first Wednesday afternoon. She, along with Dr. Thomas Gray, was hired to complete Stauch’s initial competency evaluation. The 2020 evaluation happened at the Colorado Mental Health Hospital in Pueblo, where Stauch had been transferred, temporarily.

Stauch stayed at the hospital for two weeks, housed in the high-security area of the building but “pretty much allowed to roam free” among others in the female unit, Torres said. Stauch’s time at the hospital also provided the doctors with more observation.

Torres interviewed Letecia Stauch and reviewed documentation, including any of the mental health notes and records kept at the facility, to complete the evaluation. Stauch was subsequently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with narcissistic features.

Torres said Stauch’s history of unstable relationships, mood swings, and impulsive, intense reactions factored into the borderline diagnosis, while grandiosity factored into the narcissistic features.

Stauch, according to Torres, “touted [her] intelligence and abilities” during the interview and presented “notable entitlement.”

In 2022, Torres completed a sanity report on Stauch after the defendant changed her plea to not guilty by insanity. Torres said the sanity evaluation was basically the same process as the competency evaluation.

Torres noted that during the 2022 interview, Stauch began talking about her different personalities and their names, but she never brought those up in 2020. During the 2020 evaluation, Stauch said she sometimes heard her ex-husband’s voice and was experiencing hallucinations and flashbacks, but never mentioned multiple personalities.

Letecia Stauch is also accused of asking the staff at the Pueblo hospital whether they could tell if someone was faking a mental illness.

When questioned about why Stauch would make up the personalities and inquire about faking mental health issues, Torres said in her experience, people who want to evade culpability sometimes react this way.

“In this context, there is a potential secondary gain,” Torres said. “There are always individuals who might fake it to be found incompetent or delay proceedings in the case…or to be found insane and avoid a potential prison sentence.”

Stauch also never mentioned being hospitalized for mental issues in the 2020 interview but changed that during the sanity evaluation, Torres said.

Torres added that Stauch said she was hospitalized in a treatment facility in Canada, but it was never verified since Stauch didn’t tell the doctor the city name or the name of the hospital.

Torres conclude that there was not enough evidence to find Stauch incompetent.

Letecia Stauch is facing charges of:

  • Murder in the First Degree (Child Under Twelve-Position of Trust §18-3-102(1)(f))
  • Tampering with a Deceased Human Body, §18-8-610.5
  • Tampering with Physical Evidence, §18-8-610(1)(a)

Stauch pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The trial continues. Check back for updates.

CLICK HERE to see all of our coverage on Gannon Stauch

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to a previous episode on the case below.

Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.

[Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Handout; Letecia Stauch via KRDO-TV/The Gazette/AP, Pool]