By LAUREN SILVER and EMANUELLA GRINBERG
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Court TV) — A Colorado jury rejected Letecia Stauch’s insanity defense in the disappearance and death of stepson Gannon Stauch and convicted her of murder.
Stauch pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of first-degree murder and evidence tampering in the 2020 death of her 11-year-old stepson.
Stauch’s attorneys said she suffered a psychotic break brought on by years of suppressed trauma from childhood abuse. They pointed to the findings of a defense expert who said Stauch was psychotic when she killed Gannon and lost touch with reality. El Paso County prosecutors argued that the brutality of Gannon’s death and Stauch’s attempts to cover it up showed the premeditation, judgment and reflection of a sane person who was trying to manipulate others and deflect the investigation from her.
A 12-person jury in Colorado Springs deliberated for nearly eight hours over two days before announcing its verdict.
Judge Gregory Werner addressed Letecia before delivering her sentence, saying, “I can, however, say without hesitation that the facts in this case are the most horrific I have ever seen. Your conduct in this case deserves the maximum punishment I can impose under Colorado law.”
Letecia was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the two counts of murder in the first degree, 12 years with three years of parole for tampering with a deceased human body and 18 months for tampering with physical evidence.
Letecia was married to Gannon’s father, Eugene “Al” Stauch, and in 2020 was stepmother to his two children: Gannon, 11, and Laina, 8. Stauch also had a 17-year-old daughter, Harley Hunt.
Gannon Reported Missing
Letecia called 911 at 6:55 p.m. on Jan. 27, and told investigators that Gannon was supposed to be home an hour prior, but she could not find him. When police came, they found that Letecia had not gone to any neighbors’ homes to look for the child, and was unable to name any friends or parents of Gannon’s friends.
In an affidavit obtained by Court TV, detectives listed several factors that led to her arrest.
“Letecia lied to investigators on multiple occasions, has unexplained abnormal behavior such as obtaining a rental car, disconnecting her cell phone from the cellular network for an extended period of time, the false reporting of an alleged rape, abnormal patterns of travel, a continuously evolving story with material changes in facts and circumstances and has since left the state of Colorado.”
Detectives believe Gannon was murdered in his bedroom at approximately 2:14 p.m. on January 27.
RELATED: Gannon Stauch’s mother speaks 2 years after son’s disappearance
In the affidavit, police pointed to physical evidence that “supports that a violent event occurred in his bedroom, which caused bloodshed, including blood spatter on the walls, and enough blood loss to stain the mattress, soak through the carpet, the carpet pad, and stain the concrete below his bed.”
Detectives said evidence, including time-stamped photographs and videos, indicate Gannon was still alive on the morning of Jan. 27. Those include a photo from approximately 8:13 a.m. showing the child asleep in his bed. A Nintendo Switch gaming system is visible in the photo. Detectives said the gaming system was very important to Gannon, and it has never been found.
Detectives say on Jan. 28, 2020, Letecia conducted a Google search, asking, “Can Nintendo find my Switch?”
Letecia informed Gannon’s school, Grand Mountain Elementary, that her stepson would be absent on Jan. 27, 2020. In text messages, detectives said she told her husband that Gannon had been up most of Sunday evening with a stomach problem and that she would “give them an excuse at work and stay with him.” In an affidavit, police said Letecia sent her employer a text message that morning saying her stepfather had been hit by a car and killed, and she would be unable to come to work that day.
Investigators obtained video surveillance from neighbors, which they said showed a person believed to be Letecia and a second person, who appeared to match Gannon’s physical description, leaving the family’s home in her husband’s car at approximately 10:16 a.m. on Jan. 27. Video showed the vehicle returning at approximately 2:19 p.m., and while Letecia exited, detectives could not see anybody else get out of the vehicle.
Letecia’s stepdaughter, Laina, returned to the residence at 3:15 p.m. Laina told police that Letecia told her that Gannon was asleep in his room and that she could not see him. Letecia sent Laina outside to play until Harley picked her sister up at 4:42 p.m.
Letecia sent a text to Harley asking for a carpet cleaner, trash bags and baking soda shortly after Harley picked up Laina. Police said in the affidavit that they believe the items were used to clean up the crime scene.
Detectives noted Harley refused to speak with investigators, but police were able to verify that she was at work when Gannon was likely killed.
After the Murder
Police hypothesize that after killing Gannon, Letecia moved his body through the house and into her Volkswagon Tiguan in the garage. Investigators found Gannon’s blood in the garage near the area where the vehicle’s rear hatch would be.
In the affidavit, detectives say Letecia likely used the Tiguan to dump Gannon’s body off Highway 105/S Perry Park Road in Douglas County on the evening of Jan. 28. Blood on particle board found on the side of the road matched DNA taken from blood found in Gannon’s room, police said.
At the time of the murder, Al, who is the biological father of all three children, had been deployed with the National Guard. Detectives confirmed his deployment from Jan. 25-28, 2020. On the morning of Jan. 28, Letecia picked Al up from the airport, using a rented Kia.
Three Cars, Four Stories
In the affidavit, detectives point to the rented Kia as suspicious: “Investigators located no evidence that the Tiguan was not mechanically functioning, or noted any reason why it could not have physically been driven.” The car was left in the airport’s short-term parking lot until the evening of Jan. 28.
Police obtained a search warrant for the Kia, which tested positive for blood matching Gannon’s DNA profile.
On January 28, Letecia voluntarily went to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office for an interview with investigators. During the interview, Letecia told detectives that she had been held at gunpoint and raped by a man she knew as “Eguardo,” and that Gannon was abducted by the suspect after he raped her. Letecia claimed during the attack, she had hit her head and blacked out, but investigators noted no injuries.
Letecia told investigators Gannon “jumped on ‘Eguardo’s’ back and that ‘Eguardo’ was able to throw Gannon off his back and across the room.” Letecia told police after the attack, she cleaned up the areas where the attack happened.
When investigators obtained records from the Stauch home’s alarm company, they found the home’s back door was opened and closed 10 times during the time period that Letecia said she was being attacked.
Letecia complained of chest pain at the end of the police interview and was taken to a hospital. While there, she left without telling detectives and was picked up by an unknown person.
After police seized Letecia’s Volkswagon Tiguan, she obtained a Nissan Altima. Police obtained a warrant to install a GPS tracking device, and with the data from the device believe that Letecia returned to the area where she dumped Gannon’s body to ensure no evidence was visible.
Detectives say on Feb. 14, 2020, Letecia offered additional versions of Gannon’s disappearance, saying that she was raped by a man named Quincy Brown at her home and that Brown abducted Gannon. She then said that Brown followed her from PetCo, jumped into her car and attacked her. Letecia then said that Gannon was riding his bike when he fell, hit his head, and was then abducted by Quincy Brown.
Police investigated Quincy Brown, who was, at the time, listed on El Paso County’s Most Wanted List. They uncovered no evidence to support that Brown was in any way involved with Gannon’s disappearance.
Gannon’s Body Found
In a preliminary hearing in Sept. 2021, investigators revealed they had found Gannon after they were called to a report of a body found in a suitcase along the Escambia River Bridge in 2020. Police said Gannon suffered from a fractured skull, a gunshot wound to the lower jaw, eighteen sharp force wounds and what appeared to be defensive wounds on his hands, KOAA reported. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound with blunt-force trauma to the head.
The trial has been pending for years, in part due to mental health evaluations. Letecia has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges.
After her arrest on murder charges, Letecia was charged with solicitation to commit escape. In an affidavit obtained by Court TV, deputies at the El Paso Jail said they were approached by an inmate who said she had been receiving letters from Letecia Stauch which contained plans for the latter’s escape. Letecia allegedly told other inmates she planned to break out of a cell window.
WATCH: Letecia Stauch’s Alleged Jailbreak Plot Foiled
Letecia Stauch has filed a federal lawsuit claiming her rights have been violated during her time in the El Paso County jail. In a handwritten letter sent to the court, Letecia said her first and eighth amendment rights were violated in part because she has not been given kosher food and the jail has not given her medical care.
DAILY TRIAL UPDATES
DAY 21 – 5/8/23
- A jury rejected Letecia Stauch’s insanity claims and convicted her of first-degree murder and evidence tampering charges.
- The jury reached its verdict on the four counts after nearly 8 hours of deliberations Friday and Monday.
- Gannon’s parents, Al Stauch and Landon Bullard Hiott, and other family members delivered heart-wrenching victim impact statements asking the judge to give Stauch the maximum sentence.
- Al Stauch also asked the judge to strip the defendant of his last name.
- Calling the facts of the case “the most horrific I have ever seen,” Judge Gregory Werner sentenced Stauch to life without the possibility of parole on two counts of first-degree murder.
- Werner also sentenced Stauch to 13.5 years on charges of tampering with evidence and tampering with a dead body.
- Before delivering his sentence, Werner called Stauch’s insanity claims a “disservice” and a “betrayal” to those who suffer with mental health issues.
- Speaking to reporters after the verdict, Stauch’s lawyer, Josh Tolini, said the amount of time the jury spent deliberating suggested they saw Stauch’s insanity claims in a more credible light than the judge.
- At the state’s request, Werner dismissed a separate case in which Stauch is accused of soliciting an inmate to help her escape from jail.
- District Attorney Michael Allen said the request was aimed at getting Stauch into state custody as soon as possible.
- While deliberating, the jury asked for the reports of Dr. Dorothy Lewis, the defense psychiatrist who opined that Stauch experienced a psychotic break when she killed Gannon and showed symptoms of dissociative identity disorder but stopped short of diagnosing her with the condition.
- READ MORE:
DAY 20 – 5/5/23
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Day 20
- In closing arguments, prosecutors argued that the brutality of Gannon’s murder and Letecia’s attempts to conceal it showed the premeditation and judgment of a sane person who was trying to manipulate and misdirect the investigation.
- Prosecutors said Letecia killed Gannon because she hated him and wanted to leave his father and start a new life.
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Prosecution Closing Argument
- Letecia’s defense attorney argued that she had no motive to kill Gannon, making psychosis the only possible explanation for his murder and her behavior.
- Letecia’s attorney said that the brutality of Gannon’s death was evidence that Letecia experienced a psychotic break.
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Defense Closing Argument
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: State Delivers Rebuttal Argument
- The jury, made up of seven men and five women, deliberated for four hours before they were excused for the day.
- Jurors will return on Monday morning to resume deliberations.
- READ: Jury begins deliberating in Stepmother Murder Trial
- READ: Jury Questions Document
- WATCH: Trial Watchers Wait for Verdict in Stauch Trial
DAY 19 – 5/3/23
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Day 19
- Dr. Dorothy Lewis continued to testify, as five excerpts from her 14-hour November 2022 recorded interview were played for the jury.
- Stauch spoke as her alleged alternate identities, Maria and Taylor.
- WATCH: Jury Sees Letecia Stauch’s Interview with Psychiatrist
- Stauch, speaking in an accent as Maria, said that she shot Gannon thinking he was an intruder, saying, “He wasn’t supposed to die…it wasn’t supposed to be him.”
- WATCH: Letecia Stauch Shows Emotion in Court
- Dr. Lewis said that right and wrong are “abstract concepts” and described Letecia’s actions as “crazy” and not “logical” or “smart.”
- After the jury was dismissed, the judge questioned Letecia, who said she will not testify.
- The defense said it will rest its case in front of the jury on Friday.
DAY 18 – 5/2/23
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Day 18
- The state rested its case-in-chief, having called 59 witnesses.
- The judge informed Letecia of her right to testify and asked if she intends to take the stand. Her attorney said she would make her decision after the defense’s next witness.
- Dr. Ronda Niederhauser, a clinical psychologist who examined Letecia twice in December 2019 testified that she diagnosed Letecia with generalized anxiety and recommended a prescription for hydroxyzine.
- Letecia said she felt she was being harassed at work for standing up for someone else.
- Niederhauser testified that Letecia asked her for a doctor’s letter to leave her job, saying it was required to get out of her contract.
- Niederhauser testified that she did not think Letecia was a danger to herself or others and did not show signs of a severe mental disorder that would have necessitated a 72-hour hold.
- Dr. Dorothy Lewis, an expert in serial killers and dissociative identity disorder testified about her examination of Letecia.
- WATCH: Psychiatrist Who Did Stauch’s 2nd Sanity Evaluation Testifies
- Lewis previously testified in the trials of John Lennon shooter Mark David Chapman and serial killer Joel Rifkin.
- Lewis testified that during an examination of Letecia, she believes she switched into a different identity.
- Lewis said dissociative identity disorder is frequently the result of childhood abuse.
- Lewis testified that she did not believe she knows what happened to Gannon and that she was not sane at the time of the crime.
DAY 17 – 5/1/23
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Day 17
- Upon learning that the defense’s forensic psychologist met with Letecia Stauch on Sunday at the jail for three hours, one prosecutor responded, “I’m at a loss,” because he did not know what was discussed.
- Intelligence analyst Kevin Clark testified to examining surveillance video from January 27
- Clark said that it was not typical for Letecia to back into the driveway or garage, but that she did so on the day Gannon disappeared and the day after.
- Clark testified that he examined Letecia’s phone records, and said that while she typically used her phone frequently, she did not use it on the day Gannon disappeared from late morning until early afternoon.
- Clark testified that he found notes on Letecia’s phone titled, “In the case of a missing child Gannon Stauch” that included questions like, “Did you accidentally hurt him in a physical way? Did you murder your stepson? Do you know personally who was involved in your stepson’s disappearance?”
- Clark said that there was an outgoing call placed from Gannon’s phone to Gannon’s mother’s phone at 10:03 p.m. on the night Gannon was reported missing. Clark testified that Gannon was not alive when that call was made.
- Clark testified to a timeline of Letecia’s movements and said that when Letecia drove to the airport to pick Al up, Gannon’s body was in the back of the vehicle.
- READ MORE:
DAY 16 – 4/28/23
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Day 16
- The trial was delayed Friday morning because Letecia was feeling sick.
- The judge addressed Letecia and warned her about making noises in court to disagree with witnesses.
- Dr. Loandra Torres, a forensic psychologist who conducted competency and sanity evaluations on Letecia continued her testimony, as the jury watched a portion of the forensic interview Torres conducted with Letecia.
- During the interview, Letecia described an accidental shooting wherein she shot someone wearing a cape, whom she later learned was Gannon.
- Letecia repeatedly said that she would never purposely hurt Gannon, and that she was going into different personalities.
- Letecia said that she believed she could bring Gannon back from the dead.
- WATCH: Jury Views Letecia Stauch Forensic Interview
- When asked her final opinion on Letecia’s sanity, Dr. Torres said, “It was that Mrs. Stauch was sane at the time of the crime.”
- During cross-examination, Letecia’s attorney asked Dr. Torres about implicit bias at the state hospital.
- Letecia’s attorneys indicated they will call their two witnesses to testify on Monday.
DAY 15 – 4/26/23
- Dr. Jackie Grimmett, a forensic psychologist, testified to a competency evaluation she performed on Letecia in December 2020, for the purpose of determining whether she had a mental disability.
- Grimmett said that Stauch had an understanding of the proceedings and was able to assist in her defense.
- The first competency evaluation found that Letecia did not have a mental disability.
- Grimmett said that she found Stauch to be very verbose and that Letecia told her a story about vampires visiting her in her jail cell,but admitted she got the names of the vampires from the “Twilight” series.
- Grimmett testified that she felt that Letecia was feigning some of her symptoms and that she had traits of borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality but didn’t meet the threshold for either diagnosis.
- WATCH: Psychologist Cites Inconsistencies During Letecia Stauch Evaluation
- Under cross-examination, Grimmett was asked whether Letecia could have delusions prompted by PTSD
- READ MORE: Psychologists testify to Letecia Stauch’s sanity
- Dr. Leondra Torres, a forensic psychologist, testified that she conducted Letecia’s first competency evaluation as well as a sanity evaluation in 2022.
- Torres said that Letecia’s story changed between the evaluations she administered.
- In 2020, Letecia said she began to be molested at 12 years old, but said the molestation began at 9 in 2022.
- In August 2020, Letecia denied having any inpatient treatment for mental health issues, then in December 2020 said she had received treatment in Canada, and in March 2022 repeated the story about Canada.
- Torres said that Letecia was diagnosed with a personality disorder with borderline and narcissistic features in August 2020.
- The jury was shown clips of Letecia’s 2022 sanity evaluation.
DAY 14 – 4/25/23
- FBI agent Kevin Hoyland testified to data analyzed from four cell phones, including two belonging to Letecia, one belonging to Gannon, and one belonging to Harley Hunt as well as data recovered from vehicles.
- Data showed two outgoing calls from Gannon’s cell phone at 7:30 p.m. on January 27, after he had already been reported missing.
- Letecia’s vehicle was in the area of Palmer Lake at 8 p.m. on January 28, where a blood-stained board was later found.
- Before her interview at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, data showed Letecia’s car went to a carwash.
- On February 4, the cargo van Letecia rented was powered up at 4:15 a.m., less than two miles away from where Gannon’s body was found in Pensacola, Florida.
- Dr. Christine Mohr, the Mental Health Director at the El Paso County Jail, testified to an assessment she did of Letecia on March 5, 2020.
- Letecia appeared calm and polite throughout the interview.
- Letecia denied having any disorders, in-patient or out-patient treatment.
- Dr. Mohr said she did a second assessment of Letecia on March 9, where Letecia described herself as mentally fine and not guilty.
- On March 20, Dr. Mohr said she told Letecia about Gannon’s body being found, and that Stauch was tearful and overwhelmed. She also allegedly denied being in Florida.
- Dr. Mohr said that on June 5, 2020, Stauch first raised the issue of competency and asked for an evaluation.
- READ MORE: Doctor testifies about sanity in Letecia Stauch trial
- WATCH: Witness Testifies to Data Records From Letecia Stauch’s Phone
DAY 13 – 4/24/23
- FBI agent John Grusing continued his testimony about his interrogation and interview with Letecia Stauch at the Myrtle Beach Police Department after she was arrested for murder in March 2020.
- Grusing testified that Letecia would challenge him on knowing statements about where Gannon was. He said, if he wasn’t correct with his guesses about what happened to Gannon, Letecia would get upset. Grusing said Letecia was reluctant to answer questions and didn’t give him any clues to help find Gannon.
- On redirect, Grusing testified, “Her not being able to articulate a last image of Gannon was very indicative that the last image was awful. I came away with more of a certainty that something bad happened to Gannon.”
- READ MORE:
DAY 12 – 4/21/23
- Jurors began the day by listening to a phone call between Al Stauch, the 11-year-old victim’s father, and Letecia, where Al continues to ask for more information about Gannon’s disappearance.
- District Attorney Michael Allen played a 5-hour-long recording for jurors as part of the testimony from FBI agent John Grusing.
- The prosecution then played portions of Grusing’s interrogation of Stauch at the Myrtle Beach Police Department. After informing her that she was being arrested for murder, he gave her a sheet that listed her Miranda rights and had her sign and initial the document.
- “So, Gannon was murdered?” she asked. Grusing explained they can’t have that conversation unless she’s advised of her rights. Stauch said she had an attorney, but agreed to speak with the agent and at no point asked for her lawyer. During the conversation Letecia repeatedly told Grusing that Gannon is alive and “I can help you” but said she needed “someone who is going to help me.” She said she needed protection for her family. The agent asked her how she knew Gannon is alive.
- READ MORE:
DAY 11 – 4/19/23
- Jurors began the day listening to the rest of the FBI-recorded phone call between Al and Letecia on February 15, 2020.
- Al is heard in the call being frustrated with Letecia as he’s trying to get answers about what happened to Gannon. Letecia at one point said, “I’m tired of being portrayed as the killer of a child I love.”
- Another FBI-recorded phone call was played for the courtroom. During the call between Letecia and Al, an FBI agent was coaching Al and suggesting questions to ask.
- It begins with Al asking, “I feel like this is all my fault in the end because I was gone when it happened.” Al then began asking questions about the puddle of blood in the corner of Gannon’s room where his bed was that seeped down to the concrete floor.
- Jurors heard the phone call between Letecia and FBI Agent Amber Cronan. Letecia was asked to describe in detail what happened on the day of Gannon’s disappearance.
- Letecia explains trying to get Al a bike from Craiglist, going to Dunkin’ Donuts, and Petco twice. Letecia then explained how when she and Gannon got home, Letecia heard a loud noise downstairs. Letecia said when she went downstairs, a man was standing near the storage room.
- READ MORE:
DAY 10 – 4/18/23
- Lt. John Sarkisian with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office told the court about the discovery of a bloody board near Palmer Lake, where Letecia Stauch had visited. The board matched up with a board still in the family’s garage, according to Sarkisian.
- Commander Mitch Mihalko said as the investigation continued, he believed something violent happened in the Stauch home because of the blood patterns and stains found in Gannon’s room. He said the scene was locked down on February 7, 2020.
- CSI Alyssa Berriesford analyzed the blood stains in Gannon’s bedroom on the walls, baseboard, and floor area. “There was something dynamic that happened there, more than just a single event that happened in that room,” said Berriesford.
- Berriesford said that based on her analysis, the blood had been cleaned up. Some stains were blurred, not well-defined or had been altered in some way.
- During cross-examination, Berrriesford testified saying multiple events, in this case, indicated that there were blunt force impacts in different mechanisms, and the blood stains were indicative of a gunshot, blunt force injury, and sharp force injury.
- READ MORE:
DAY 9 – 4/17/23
- Letecia Stauch’s daughter takes the stand
- READ MORE:
DAY 8 – 4/14/23
- GoPro video shows Letecia slipping her cuffs and struggling with deputies who eventually secure her.
- A firearm was found in the master bedroom on top of a chest of drawers, it appeared to hold 17 rounds, the witness who took crime scene photos counted approximately 16 rounds within this firearm.
- A witness testified to carpet being made to be burn resistant. She said in order to achieve the char mark in the basement carpet, there needed to be a sustained amount of heat aimed at this location.
- READ MORE:
DAY 7 – 4/12/23
- Letecia’s initial statements about Gannon’s disappearance were played for the jury in audio and video form, this includes her recollection of being raped.
- At the end of the interview, Letecia tries to leave and law enforcement prevents her from doing so. First, they say they’re applying for a warrant for her phone, and take her phone from her. Second, they tell her they’re applying for another warrant for an involuntary physical.
- READ MORE:
DAY 6 – 4/11/23
- Letecia’s brother saw Letecia struggle with a suitcase.
- Law enforcement tracked Letecia’s movements in the days after Gannon disappeared. They know she moved out of her residence and stayed with family at an Extended Suites hotel and at one point went to 15291 S. Perry Park Rd which became an area of interest in the investigation. They know she rented a Budget truck. This vehicle drove through Texas, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and ended up in Rhode Island.
- Law enforcement applied blue star to the residence, found presumptive hits for blood throughout the house – notably the garage, laundry room, basement stairs, storage room, and Gannon’s room.
- A nurse testified to Letecia coming to the hospital on January 29, 2020. Letecia reported she was raped. An involuntarily physical was done on Letecia, a voluntary sexual assault exam was not done on Letecia bc she left before this took place.
- READ MORE:
DAY 5 – 4/10/23
- The doctor that performed Gannon’s autopsy testified that his cause of death was gunshot wound to the jaw and blunt head force trauma.
- A wiretap calls indicates Letecia asking for a report from fakepolygraph.com.
- Det. Christina Perry testifies to the surveillance footage she observed on January 27, 2020. It’s questionable if Gannon is seen at 2:19 PM. The surveillance footage does not exhibit any sounds of gunshots.
- Det. Pete Vigil testifies on January 28, 2020 when he searched the residence, he noticed Gannon’s bedroom had an ammonia bleach smell.
- A reporter testifies to interviewing Letecia on January 31, 2020. In the interview she says she hopes when Gannon comes home, she gets a sincere apology from her critics, especially her husband. She then asks to redo her answer. In her second answer she is seen crying and pleading for Gannon to come home.
- READ MORE: Medical examiner reviews Gannon’s injuries in Stepmother Murder Trial
DAY 4 – 4/7/23
- The investigation revealed that Letecia had started a resource teacher position around January 2020 in Colorado to help students with special education needs. In the process of attaining the position, she provided a false number for a job reference. The phone number which was purported to belong to Connie Huddle actually belonged to Gannon Stauch.
- Letecia was in the Florida area on February 4, 2020 according to Candlewood Suites (Florida location) documents. Gannon’s body was found in that same area on March 17, 2020.
- The jury saw photos of Gannon’s t-shirt and jacket which had numerous defects, as well as his pillow which had two projectiles, and the bullet which was removed from his head.
- One of Letecia’s neighbors took the stand and talked about Letecia’s unusual response to Gannon going missing. This neighbor said Letecia didn’t participate in the community search, did a local media interview where she focused on defending herself as opposed to asking for help to find Gannon, and asked for support in telling authorities that Gannon left in a man’s car.
- Dep. Christopher Ganstine recounted Letecia’s fight or flight response when she was presented with a warrant. Dep. Ganstine said Letecia ran in a full sprint away from him. When he handcuffed her, he said she was hysterical, screaming, and yelling obscenities.
- READ MORE:
DAY 3 – 4/5/23
- Al Stauch, Gannon’s father, finished testifying on the stand as prosecutors played additional phone calls he had with Letecia. Letecia can be heard on the calls repeatedly begging for immunity.
- During cross-examination, Al Stauch said that Letecia had a prescription for anxiety.
- A Florida bridge inspector who discovered Gannon’s remains testified that he saw two little feet and head after finding the child’s body in a suitcase.
- One of the officers who responded to the initial phone call after Gannon was reported missing answered several questions from the jury about what he saw when he first entered the Stauch home on January 27, 2020.
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Day 3
DAY 2 – 4/4/23
- Al Stauch, Gannon’s father took the stand. During his testimony the state played a two-hour phone call he had with Letecia. Towards the end of the call, Al asks Letecia point blank if she killed Gannon. She says no, is shocked and offended at the suggestion.
- Al appeared emotional when he was asked about the last time he saw Gannon. He said at the time, he remembered telling Gannon that Gannon would always be in his heart, and that Gannon’s response was to ignore him in order to continue playing his Pokémon game.
- January 26, 2020 (Sunday), Al learned about an accidental candle spill.
- Letecia said there were bubbly spots on both sides of Gannon’s arms.
- Letecia said Gannon knocked over a candle on accident which caused a fire.
- Letecia said she jumped on Gannon to put out the fire.
- January 27, 2020 (Monday), Letecia told Al that she didn’t let Gannon didn’t go to school because he had stomach issues, but at the same time she did let Gannon go spend time at a friend’s house.
- January 28, 2020 (Tuesday), Al and Letecia were interviewed at the sheriff’s office. After this, Al went on a solo search for Gannon, then decided to search for Letecia’s car. Al said her car was not where she claimed it would be. After this discovery, Al said he went into the sheriff’s office a second time that day for another interview. During this second interview, Letecia was not present. Al said that he expected to find Gannon inside Letecia’s car.
- READ MORE:
DAY 1 – 4/3/23
- A jury of 12 is seated with six alternates
- The state dismissed count 3 (Child abuse resulting in death) because this charge came about prior to Gannon’s body being recovered. Count 1 (murder in the first degree) was added in lieu of this.
- Prosecutor Mike Allen described 11-year-old Gannon’s brutal murder in his opening statement, saying that the child was stabbed, beaten and then shot.
- Allen said this case is about insanity, the evidence will show the defendant could distinguish between right and wrong, that she is capable of forming intent.
- Video was shown where Gannon could be heard crying about burns, Letecia was heard talking about a fire and having to sell off some items like a sofa.
- Allen talked about this home, which was supposed to be a safe space for Gannon, it was turned into a place for nightmares, a place where Gannon was stabbed 18x and fired at by a gun.
- Allen said Letecia took deliberate action to hide her crimes from the world.
- Allen said Letecia intentionally came up with different stories to explain what happened to Gannon.
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Prosecution Opening Statement
- Defense attorney Will Cook urged jurors not to prejudge the case, insisting that Letecia Stauch was legally insane when she killed her stepson.
- Cook indicated jurors shouldn’t prejudge this case.
- Cook said Letecia dealt with trauma and abuse since she was a toddler, her mother had many partners, her mother was physically abused, Letecia was also physically abused. Letecia was also emotionally and sexually abused.
- Cook said Letecia’s past is what led to her personality.
- Cook said experts will testify to associative identity disorder which was formerly called multiple personality disorder. Cook said it’s a disease of the mind.
- Cook taled about motive, saying there isn’t one because Letecia’s actions don’t make sense, indicating she’s not sane.
- Cook said Letecia wasn’t killing Gannon, she was killing her demons from her childhood.
- WATCH: Stepmother Murder Trial: Defense Opening Statement
- READ MORE: