Stepmother accused of killing Gannon Stauch pleads not guilty

Posted at 8:55 AM, November 5, 2021 and last updated 8:55 AM, November 5, 2021

By Colette Bordelon

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KMGH) — An El Paso County woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch, entered a not guilty plea in court Thursday afternoon.

At her plea hearing, Letecia Stauch’s defense team confirmed she was pleading not guilty to the charges against her, which include first-degree murder as well as more than a dozen others.

The trial is expected to begin March 28, 2022, and will last an estimated six weeks.

FILE – Letecia Stauch (KMGH)

On Sept. 23, Judge Gregory Werner ruled the evidence presented by prosecutors during the preliminary hearing was sufficient to take the case to trial.

Investigators believe Letecia killed Gannon in their Lorson Ranch home on Jan. 27, 2020, before driving his body to the Florida panhandle where it was eventually discovered in March 2020.

The District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District and lead prosecutor on the case, Michael Allen, anticipates Letecia will enter a not guilty plea at her arraignment on Thursday. If that happens, they will have six months from the arraignment for a trial to begin.

Leticia waived her right to be present during her preliminary hearing, but the judge ordered she must physically appear for her plea hearing.

During testimony at the preliminary hearing, the results of Gannon’s autopsy were disclosed. According to the report, Gannon’s cause of death was listed as a gunshot wound and blunt-force trauma to the head. Contributory conditions were sharp-force injuries, and his manner of death was marked as a homicide.

Dr. Susan Ignacio, a forensic pathologist in Florida, performed the autopsy. She noted one gunshot wound, one skull fracture, and 18 sharp-force wounds, including those on the arms and hands which were thought to be defensive wounds.

Florida law enforcement officers said the gunshot wound was in Gannon’s lower left jaw area. The projectile recovered from his head was sent to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

A 9mm gun was recovered from Letecia Stauch’s bedroom that she shared with Gannon’s father, Al. A sergeant from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office believes the 9mm gun was used to fire the rounds collected in Florida. Particularly, the one recovered from Gannon’s head was consistent with the firearm.

A full list of charges filed against Stauch are as follows:

  • Count 1 – Murder in the first degree (first-degree felony)
  • Count 2 – Murder in the first degree (first-degree felony)
  • Count 3 – Child abuse resulting in death (second-degree felony)
  • Count 4 – Tampering with a deceased human body (third-degree felony)
  • Count 5 – Tampering with physical evidence (sixth-degree felony)
  • Count 6 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – use of firearm
  • Count 7 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – use of a blunt instrument
  • Count 8 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – use of a knife or other sharp instrument
  • Count 9 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – unlawfully causing the death of Gannon Stauch
  • Count 10 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – use of a firearm related to murder in the first degree – child under 12 years of age
  • Count 11 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – use of a blunt instrument related to murder in the first degree – child under 12 years of age
  • Count 12 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – use of a knife or other sharp instrument related to murder in the first degree – child under 12 years of age
  • Count 13 – Crime of violence (special enhancer) – unlawfully causing the death of Gannon Stauch related to murder in the first degree – child under 12 years of age

This story was originally published Nov. 4, 2021, by KMGH in Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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