Letecia Stauch Guilty of Murder: Jury Convicts Stepmom In Death of Stepson Gannon Stauch
Stauch admitted to killing her stepson Gannon Stauch, but had entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Letecia Stauch is guilty of murder.
Jurors in Colorado returned with their verdict on Monday afternoon after two daysof deliberation.
Stauch admitted to killing her stepson Gannon Stauch back in January 2020, but had entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Video of competency evaluation Stauch underwent while in jail that played at trial showed her claiming that her alter "Maria" killed Gannon after she mistook him for a man in a black cape who had broken into the family's home.
During opening statements, defense attorney Will Cook told the jury that Stauch suffers from dissociative identity disorder, or DID, a condition brought on by years of childhood trauma.
DID 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."
Cook also asked jurors to put aside any preconceived notions they might have about Stauch or the case.
"The person she was killing that day, the person she was attacking, it wasn't Gannon," 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."
He then told jurors that Stauch developed DID as a result of past sexual abuse that occurred in her youth. That sexual abuse was allegedly perpetrated by some of her mother's lovers, Cook told jurors.
LETECIA STAUCH MURDER INVESTIGATION TIMELINE
El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen began his opening statement by telling jurors that Stauch "could distinguish between right and wrong."
He then asked every witness that he called to the stand to answer the same question: "Do you think Letecia Stauch was sane when she killed Gannon?"
"I believe she is, and was, absolutely sane," Gannon's father and Letecia's ex-husband, Al Stauch, testified last week. "From the time I met her to even today."
Al Stauch, who struggled to keep his composure during his testimony, also said that Gannon loved his stepmother.
“One of the things about Gannon, he absolutely loved his mom, and had some of that same love for Letecia,” Al Stauch told jurors while tears rolled down his face. “He was a mama’s boy. I think he had love in his heart for her. I don’t think he was afraid of her.”
Letecia Stauch has been behind bars ever since her arrest in March 2020.
She allegedly stuffed Gannon's body into a suitcase and took off for Florida just days after the murder,
She then allegedly checked herself into a hotel in Pensacola, Florida, at midnight and disposed of Gannon's body by tossing the suitcase off a nearby bridge.
She then checked out by 11 a.m. the next morning, according to prosecutors.
The young boy's body was discovered in that same suitcase two weeks after Stauch's arrest by members of a Florida road crew doing repairs on the bridge.
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