By: Ashley Portillo , Aidan Hulting
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KOAA) — Day three in the Letecia Stauch murder trial continued with Al Stauch, Gannon’s father, taking the stand to testify. The day began with hearing a series of FBI-recorded phone calls between Al and Letecia, from February 2020, weeks after Gannon’s disappearance.
Jurors and people in the courtroom then listened to Letecia change her story several times about what happened to Gannon on the day he disappeared.
She first blamed Gannon’s disappearance on a man who was hiding in the Stauch’s home and kidnapped Gannon. She said the man had information about her, and it was too dangerous, which is why she couldn’t tell Al his name. She also said the man was in the home when police searched the home on the Monday Gannon disappeared.
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Letecia repeatedly asked Al for immunity, to which he responded he couldn’t do it. Letecia said she’ll give the man’s name if Al could promise immunity.
Al – “Did this guy kill him? Did he kill him in the house? Or do you know if he killed Gannon or not?… I can’t give you immunity. I am your husband, I am not the police or the judge.”
In another recorded phone call, Letecia said a man was following her on Monday, the day Gannon disappeared, when she was at Petco, and when she went to look at a bike for Al. In another recorded phone call, Letecia said a man got into their truck with her and Gannon, and also said the man was with them in the vehicle, as they rode all the way back home.
“This is even more bulls**t than the original 17 stories,” said Al during the phone conversation. “You’re spinning me in 12 different directions.”
Letecia told Al the man’s name was Eduardo. Then she went on to say his name is actually Quincy Brown. Later on, she said Gannon was riding a bike and fell off and got hurt “real bad,” and a man then took him.
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Through tears, Letecia said she was tired of crying. She told Al that he hasn’t been on her side because he isn’t talking to her. Al said, he just doesn’t know what was going on, “We have a gap between us right now… There’s no closing that gap until we get to the truth,” Al added.
Al said he assumed Letecia was crying in some parts of the conversation, but he also believed some of her emotions and crying were fake. Al believed she was trying to manipulate him.
District Attorney Michael Allen then asked Al questions about Letecia knowing right from wrong and her mental condition or illnesses.
Allen asked Al what his opinion is on Letecia’s sanity. Al – “I believe she was and absolutely is 100% sane on what I witnessed and laid out. I have no indication it was anything else. From the time I met her, even to today.”
As all of these recorded phone calls between Al and Letecia are playing in the courtroom, Letecia is seen with her head down, and her head in her hands.
The defense attorneys then prepared to cross-examine Al.
Josh Tolini with the Defense: “You’re aware of late fall 2019, she was having mental health issues?” Al – “I was not aware of that.”
The defense asked Al if he was aware that the doctor Letecia was seeing, advised her to quit her job because her mental health issues were so severe. Al said he wasn’t aware of that.
The prosecution then called their second witness to the stand who was Macon Ponder. He’s a bridge inspector from Panama City, Florida. Ponder was asked to describe March 17, 2020, the day he was inspecting a bridge and found a suitcase that Gannon’s body was inside.
“I was the first one to unzip it. As soon as we unzipped it, we noticed the smell,” said Ponder. “The smell was so powering, we took a step back… We immediately knew it was a body.”
Ponder said he and his team stopped their inspection of the bridge, and immediately called 9-1-1.
The prosecution then called their third witness to the stand, Jason Yoder. He’s a criminal investigator with the Escambia Sheriff’s Office, on the Alabama/Florida state line. In March 2020, he said he was a major crimes detective that got called out to the scene where the suitcase was discovered.
Yoder said after the discovery of the suitcase, a flyer was brought to his attention about a missing boy from Colorado named Gannon. He was then named the lead detective in Florida.
Dozens more witnesses will be testifying in the weeks ahead. The trial is expected to take up to six weeks.
Stauch has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
This story was originally published on April 5, 2023, by KOAA in Colorado Springs, an E.W. Scripps Company.