An El Paso County jury in Colorado found Letecia Stauch guilty Monday of murdering her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch, in 2020.
The jury took around seven hours and 30 minutes and returned the verdict Monday afternoon, after failing to reach a decision last week. Stauch was also found guilty of tampering with a human body and tampering with physical evidence.
Stauch pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but prosecutors detailed her actions throughout the 3-week trial, with evidence that she stabbed, shot, and beat Gannon inside the family’s El Paso County home on January 27, 2020, then took great measures to cover her crime.
Months later, his body was found stuffed into a suitcase beneath a bridge in Pace, Florida.
When Stauch reported Gannon missing, she initially told police he ran away. When there was no evidence for her claims, she changed her story and said a construction worker broke into their Fountain home, raped her, then kidnapped Gannon.
Stauch told CrimeOnline in 2020 that the man also demanded a large suitcase before fleeing the home. Security cameras didn’t show anyone entering or leaving the Stauch home on the day in question, aside from family members that lived there.
Stauch later told CrimeOnline that a man named “Edgar” took Gannon and fled with him on a train. Stauch said she had been covering for others, including Gannon’s father, Al Stauch, who she said owed money to Edgar.
“Him [Albert Stauch] and Edgar was getting into it. Because he owed Edgar some money. We had the money that should have been paid from the cruise,” Stauch told CrimeOnline in September 2020.
“Albert made a stupid decision, you know, it just wasn’t, you know, a good situation. So, you know, he told me a story to tell [the police]. You know, and I just didn’t know what to say.”
Stauch also claimed that her now ex-husband told her “she didn’t have a child to lose” and that he had many law enforcement and military officials that could assist if she “didn’t snitch.”
Prosecutors showed evidence that Al Stauch had zero culpability in Gannon’s disappearance, and left the boy in Letecia Stauch’s care while he was out of state for work.
Another story made up by Stauch was that “Quincy Brown,” a wanted sex offender, took Gannon after a bike accident and never returned him. She also said a woman with a fake pregnant belly full of cash took Gannon after she refused to run errands for her.
Former intelligence analyst with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Kevin Clark, testified that Stauch’s phones and GPS vehicle tracking showed her traveling to several areas in Colorado after Gannon’s disappearance and then from Colorado to Pace, Florida, in a rental van.
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?
Searches found on Stauch’s phone indicated that she was likely frustrated with taking care of Gannon, who had ADHD and stomach issues. There also appeared to be trouble in her marriage to Al Stauch. Some of the searches found on Stauch’s phone included:
- 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
DNA analyst and forensic serologist Sherrie Holes said that Gannon’s blood was found throughout his bedroom, on outlets, walls, bedding, and carpet. Blood was also found on Letecia Stauch’s shoes, a couch in the home, rugs, and boxes.
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[Feature Photo: Gannon Stauch/Facebook via Landen Hiott]