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A judge has ruled that there is enough probable cause for the stepmother of Gannon Stauch to stand trial for the Colorado boy’s murder.
El Paso County Judge Gregory Werner ruled on Thursday that there was probable cause against Letecia Stauch, 38, to move forward for trial, Denver outlet KMGH reports. He set a plea hearing for Nov. 4 when Stauch is expected to enter a plea of not guilty. She will be held without bond until her impending trial.
Stauch faces multiple charges including first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with evidence and tampering with a deceased human body for the January killing of the 11-year-old.
Gannon vanished in Colorado’s El Paso County on Jan. 27, 2020 and his remains were discovered in Florida two months later inside of a suitcase by a road crew. At a preliminary hearing earlier this month, prosecutors presented evidence showing that they allegedly discovered Gannon's blood on Stauch's shoe and that they found her DNA on a gun linked to his murder, the Associated Press reports. Evidence was also presented that allegedly shows the stepmother took a trip to Florida not long after her stepson went missing.
During that preliminary hearing, a Florida police officer also testified that Gannon had a fractured skull, a gunshot wound in lower left jaw, and stab wounds to left chest and right back. He noted that the autopsy report said the boy had 18 sharp force injuries in all. He said that cuts on Gannon’s hands and arms were consistent with defensive wounds.
Stauch was the last person to see the Gannon alive before he vanished. She initially told authorities he'd gone missing after leaving the family's home to visit a friend then later portrayed herself as the victim of false rumors about her involvement in his dissapearance. She was ultimately arrested March 2 in South Carolina, where she is from.
Stauch 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. Stauch allegedly dumped Gannon's body off Highway 105 in Colorado’s Douglas County before his body was later moved to Florida.
Letecia was ruled fit for trial in January of 2021.
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