Letecia Stauch Murder Trial: She Says a Rapist Abducted Stepson; Cops Say She Killed the Boy and Hid His Body
On March 17, Gannon's body was discovered in a suitcase under a highway bridge near Pensacola, Florida. Authorities believe Letecia Stauch drove cross-country to dispose of her stepson's remains.
Jury selection for the murder trial of Letecia Stauch, who is accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch, is set to begin on Monday in Colorado, and is expected to last two weeks given the high-profile nature of the case
She initially entered a plea of not guilty following her arrest in March 2020, court records show, then changed that to not guilty by reason of insanity in February 2022.
The judge allowed for this change in plea without first having the results of a sanity evaluation, and court filings obtained by Inside Edition Digital show that 13 months later the defense still has not provided that paperwork to the court.
Authorities allege that Letecia murdered Gannon on January 27, and then worked to hide his body before claiming he had disappeared when she called law enforcement officials later that same day, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case.
Detective Jessica Bethel of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office (EPCO) alleges in the affidavit that Letecia killed Gannon in his bedroom, put his body in the trunk of her car, and then allegedly drove out to hide his remains along the side of the highway once she learned that police planned to search the family's home.
On Jan. 29, Stauch voluntarily met with investigators from the EPCO to discuss Gannon's disappearance.
Stauch had first reported Gannon missing less than 48 hours earlier, but the probable cause affidavit claims that she now had a much different version of the events leading up to the disappearance of her stepson.
The affidavit alleges that Letecia told investigators that on the night Gannon disappeared she had been violently raped and assaulted by a man whose name, she claimed, was "Edguardo." After that assault, Letecia claimed that "Edguardo" allegedly kidnapped Gannon.
Letecia declined to have a nurse examine her for signs of sexual assault according to the affidavit, and also told investigators that after the assault she thoroughly cleaned the alleged crime scene.
Authorities eventually convinced Gannon's father, Al Stauch, to record his calls with Letecia according to the affidavit.
Al had been in Oklahoma for military training with the U.S. National Guards when Gannon went missing, leaving his then-wife Letecia to care for his son and daughter, Laina, as well as her teenage daughter, Holly.
The couple were no longer living together when Al agreed to EPSO's request to monitor his calls with Letecia.
Those calls feature prominently in the affidavit.
The affidavit alleges that in one 48-hour period Letecia said the following:
- "When EPSO came to the house on January 27, 2020 the abductor was still in her residence and that she tried to signal the EPSO deputies that there was somebody in the residence."
- "She was raped by [a man] at her residence, and [he] abducted Gannon. She knew [the man's] identity because she saw a paper and his identification card fell out of his pocket that had his name on it."
- "[A man] followed her from Petco, and at some point, was laying in the middle of the road in front of a car. When Letecia stopped to avoid running the man over, he jumped into her car and made her take him home and raped her."
- "Letecia and Gannon were near County Line Rd / Hwy105 in northern El Paso County on January 27, 2020. Gannon is riding a bicycle in the area and fell off, hit his head, and was then abducted by [a man]."
- "Letecia stated that the blood in the corner of Gannon's room was a combination of hers and Gannon's. In this explanation, she stated that the abductor anally penetrated her and Gannon with an object. Additionally, she was tied up at some point in the abduction, and the abductor was still present during the EPSO visit that night."
On Feb. 28, 2020 a judge signed off on an arrest warrant after reviewing the affidavit, despite the fact that Gannon's body had not been located by investigators.
LETECIA STAUCH PROBABLE CAUSE AFFIDAVIT
Letecia was arrested in South Carolina on March 2 and extradited back to Colorado.
On March 17, Gannon's body was discovered in a suitcase under a highway bridge near Pensacola, Florida.
At Letecia's preliminary hearing in September 2021, Sgt. Jason Yoder, of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office spoke about the discovery of Gannon's body.
He testified that bridge inspectors with the Florida Department of Transportation found a suitcase under the bridge while doing construction, and upon opening it found what appeared to be a boy's body wrapped in blankets.
Sgt. Yoder said that Gannon had been shot in the jaw, stabbed in the chest and back, and suffered a skull fracture.
Gannon also had defensive wounds covering his arms and legs and a bullet lodged in his skull, according to Sgt. Yoder.
Sgt. Rosario Hubbell of the EPSO also testified at the preliminary hearing, saying that the bullets came from a gun that was present at the Stauch home and had traces of Letecia's DNA.
He then testified that two days after Letecia first claimed her alleged rapist abducted Gannon, she rented a van and drove 1,500 miles from Colorado to Florida.
The trip took three days, and after arriving in Florida after midnight on Feb. 4, Letecia checked into a hotel located just three miles from where Gannon's body would later be discovered, according to .Sgt. Hubbell's testimony
She then headed off to Orlando and then South Carolina, according to Sgt. Hubbell, where she was arrested less than a month after allegedly hiding her stepson's body.
Letecia has been held pending trial since that day more than three years ago, and will soon learn if she will be spending the rest of her life behind bars.
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