Testimony continued Monday morning 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.
On Monday morning, the judge learned that forensic psychologist and witness, Dr. Grey, met with Stauch in jail for around three hours yesterday. The prosecution, who learned of the meeting in court Monday morning, said they wanted to meet with the psychologist prior to Grey’s court testimony, so they can cross-examine.
Former intelligence analyst with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Kevin Clark, took the stand first Monday. He said after looking at security footage from a neighbor’s home near the Stauch residence in Fountain, he determined that Gannon and the defendant were at home on January 27, 2020.
The following morning, at around 6:30 a.m., Stauch left the home in a Tiguan and traveled to the Bradley Road area before returning home. At around midnight, her GPS location showed her at the Palmer Lake area near the S curve.
Clark said when Stauch returned home, she parked her vehicle inside the garage, which is something she typically never did, but started doing so on the day Gannon vanished, as well as the following day.
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Clark said cellphone records from a burner phone Stauch purchased showed searches for fake polygraph tests, getting away with lies on a fake polygraph test, and a “notes” section on the phone with questions regarding Gannon.
Under the notes section, questions included:
- Did you accidentally hurt him in a physical way?
- Do you know personally who was involved in your stepson’s disappearance?
- Did you murder your stepson?
Clark then went over the day before Gannon vanished. On January 26, 2020, Stauch took a photo of herself with Gannon and his younger sister, Laina, during a hiking outing, then sent some text messages to her daughter, Harley Hunt.
Later, Stauch recorded a video of Gannon, who can be heard saying he was worried about his burns, following an alleged candle accident inside the Stauch residence.
On January 27, 2020, there were gaps in time when Stauch didn’t use her phone, Clark said. He then pointed out the times when Stauch’s phone was not in use and concluded that Gannon was likely murdered inside the residence before Laina returned home from school that afternoon.
Clark said Stauch’s cellphone had been turned off around the time of Gannon’s disappearance, although she would typically use her phone constantly. Clark said Stauch’s phone had battery life at the time and was locked and unlocked multiple times.
Stauch sent Gannon’s father, Al, a text message at around 2:48 a.m. that morning and told him Gannon would not be going to school. She also sent a text message to a middle school principal at her new job and said her stepfather had died and she would not be in for work that day.
Later that morning, Stauch sent Al a photo of Gannon in his bed, and said he wasn’t feeling well. She sent a few more texts to Al concerning bath salts and a few other issues involving Gannon.
At around 10 a.m. on January 27, 2020, Stauch left her residence and no activity occurred on her phone for around four hours, Clark said. Stauch previously told police she left her phone at home that morning.
At around 2:30 p.m., Stauch returned home. Her phone was accessed briefly then no activity again for around an hour. Laina and Harley then returned home from school and work after 4 p.m. and Stauch sent Harley to go buy cleaning supplies at the store. Laina rode with Harley to a nearby dollar store.
Stauch then sent a text to Al after 6 p.m. that evening and told him Gannon was missing. Another text said she was leaving the home to search for him but cellphone records indicate that Stauch didn’t leave her residence at all that evening, except one drive around the area with Laina.
Clark testified that it appeared that Stauch was on social media a lot on January 27 and spent more time online instead of looking for Gannon.
At around 10 p.m. that night, Stauch called Gannon’s mother, Landen Hiott, in South Carolina, and told her Gannon was missing. At around 10 p.m., El Paso County police deputies arrived at the Stauch home.
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.
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[Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Handout; Letecia Stauch/Police Handout]