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Gannon Stauch's Stepmom Is Pursuing Insanity Defense In His Murder
Letecia Stauch is changing her plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity for the death of her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch.
Gannon Stauch’s stepmother will be switching her plea to not guilty by reason of insanity for the 2020 murder of the 11-year-old Colorado boy.
Colorado 4th Judicial District Judge Gregory Werner granted Letecia Stauch’s request to change her not guilty plea to not guilty by reason of insanity during a Friday status hearing, The Gazette reports. Letecia’s lawyer Josh Tolini credited the plea change to an expert who he said reviewed some evidence which indicated a “high likelihood of psychosis” in the stepmother.
Gannon vanished in Colorado’s El Paso County in January of 2020; Letecia, 38, was the last person to see the boy alive. His remains were discovered inside a suitcase under a bridge all the way in Florida two months later by a road crew.
At a preliminary hearing last year, prosecutors presented evidence showing that they allegedly discovered Gannon's blood on Letecia’s shoe and that they found her DNA on a gun linked to the boy's murder, the Associated Press reported. Evidence was also presented that allegedly shows the stepmother took a trip to Florida not long after her stepson went missing.
Letecia faces multiple charges including first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence and tampering with a deceased human body. Last week was not the first time her mental health was brought up in connection to the charges. In September of 2020, Letecia’s attorneys asked for a second opinion about her competency. In January of 2021, she was found competent to stand trial.
On Friday, Werner ordered Letecia to undergo a sanity evaluation at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo as a result of the insanity defense request. She will be held there until it is completed.
Letecia’s defense has also filed a motion earlier this month to waive her right to a jury trial, citing the fact that because of the “massive amount of pre-trial publicity, she will not be able to find a fair jury pool,” according to The Gazette.
Werner left that ruling to a later date with a review hearing set for March 17. Currently, the jury trial is set for March 28 .
Letecia had initially told authorities Gannon had gone missing after leaving the family's home to visit a friend. She was ultimately arrested March 2 in South Carolina. She is also accused of enlisting her then-17-year-old daughter to help cover up Gannon's murder. She allegedly instructed the teen to purchase carpet cleaner, trash bags, and other cleaning supplies. Letecia allegedly dumped Gannon's body off Highway 105 in Colorado’s Douglas County before his body was later moved to Florida.