Letecia Stauch Says Alter 'Maria' Shot Stepson in Face, Talks to 'Twilight' Vampires In Murder Trial Videos

Letecia Stauch
El Paso County Court, Handout

Letecia Stauch has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, a claim rejected by both Dr. Torres and a second forensic psychologist who interviewed the defendant, Dr. Jackie Grimmett.

Letecia Stauch admitted to shooting her stepson Gannon Stauch in the face during a filmed interview with a forensic psychologist that played at her murder trial. 

In the video, Stauch tells Dr. Loandra Torres that her alter “Maria” had taken over when she shot her stepson in the face, and thought that the 11-year-old boy was a “man in a black cape” who had broken into the family’s home.

"At the time, I didn't know who the person in the cape was," Stauch tells Torres during the interview, which took place in March 2022.

Stauch claims to have dissociative identity disorder and has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Stauch claims later in her interview with Dr. Torres that Gannon had been standing on his bed with a sheet wrapped around him, prompting "Maria" to fire the gun because she did not recognize the little boy.

"I gain absolutely nothing out of hurting a child," Stauch tells Dr. Torres. "I never would have purposely hurt Gannon." 

Prior to her confession, Stauch claimed in recorded phone calls with her now-ex-husband Al that his son had been abducted by a rapist, a man she planned to purchase a bike from off Craigslist, and a woman who pretended to be pregnant by stuffing her shirt with cash.

It was not until two years after her arrest that she confessed to shooting Gannon.


In an interview filmed one month after her confession that also played in court last week, Stauch said "Maria" is her "protector" and can speak Spanish and Russian.

“When I’m in Maria mode, I have power, unbelievable power," Stauch said in that interview. "Special powers, you could even say.”

Stauch also said that she had at least three additional alters: "Harmony," "Jasmine," and "Taylor."

Stauch's daughter Harley Hunt did testify that her mother refered to herself as "Taylor" on occasion when she took the stand early last week.

No other witness called to testify in the case thus far recalled ever hearing about any of Stauch's alters prior to that June 2022 interview.

Dr. Torres and a second forensic psychologist who interviewed the defendant, Dr. Jackie Grimmett, both testified last week that they did not believe Stauch's claim that she suffers from dissociative identity disorder.

Dr. Torres delivered a blunt assessment to cap off her testimony on Friday, stating: "There is no mental illness that is impacting Ms. Stauch’s ability to interpret what is right from what is wrong."

She also said that she had "concerns about Mrs. Stauch's credibility," and testified that even if Stauch did have dissociative identity disorder, she would not classify her as insane.

Dr. Grimmett said that Stauch seemed to be acting in a bid to "make herself look much worse than she actually is," during her testimony.

She then referenced how at one point during an interview, Stauch claimed to be in conversation with vampires from the popular "Twilight" franchise.

“She was humming to herself, she was hitting her head on the wall. She seemed happier than she should’ve been,” Dr. Grimmett testified in court. “At some point, she turned around to talk to somebody else, then turned around to talk to me. She said she was talking to a vampire,"

Both psychologists did agree however that Stauch exhibited signs of narcissistic personality disorder.

Dissociative identity disorder was previously called multiple personality disorder and "is characterized by 'switching' to alternate identities," the Mayo Clinic notes, citing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. "You may feel the presence of two or more people talking or living inside your head, and you may feel as though you're possessed by other identities... People with dissociative identity disorder typically also have dissociative amnesia and often have dissociative fugue."

The defense will get a chance to counter this testimony later this week when their own psychologist takes the stand.

Dr. Dorothy Lewis is expected to testify that Stauch was insane at the time of Gannon's murder as early as Tuesday.

The defense touched upon the subject of Stauch's mental health during their opening remarks last month.

"The person she was killing that day, the person she was attacking, it wasn't Gannon," defense attorney Will Cook told jurors. "It wasn't Gannon to her. She didn't wake up that day and go, 'I'm going to kill my stepson.'"

Cook continued: "She was killing her demons. All the demons from the dark depths of her childhood."

In addition to mental and physical abuse, Cook told jurors that Stauch had been sexually abused as a child, causing her to develop DID.

That sexual abuse was allegedly perpetrated by some of her mother's lovers, said Cook.

Stauch has been held without bail ever since her arrest in March 2020, approximately six weeks after Gannon first went missing.

Prosecutors claim that days after the murder, Stauch put Gannon's lifeless body in a suitcase and drove from Colorado to Florida with her teenage daughter.

Stauch then allegedly checked into a hotel in Pensacola at midnight, left to go dispose of Gannon's body by tossing the suitcase off a bridge, and checked out by 11 a.m. the next morning, according to prosecutors.

Florida highway workers found the young boy's body in a suitcase two weeks after Letecia Stauch's arrest, and last week prosecutors showed that suitcase to the jury.

Stauch is facing life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.


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