Colorado woman Letecia Stauch, the defendant in the alleged murder of her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch, claimed in a letter dated August 12 that she had been mistreated in jail, had not had access to her attorneys, and had received threats in her peanut butter.
“Over 15 plus times I have been abused in transport ranging from injured ribs, knot on my head, several ankle + wrist bleeding [sic], bruising on my knee in my cell, loss of feeling in my hands several times, I’ve had to be on Ensure 2 weeks due to the poison comments and just recently on 8/11/2020 I received threats in my peanut butter because I provided evidence of not only my innocence but evidence that will show who it was through my PI,” she wrote 4th Judicial District Judge Gregory R. Werner. “As a result of this, I assume, their runners use people in trusted positions in jail to send me threats in my food and I’m terrified of what will happen next.”
Letecia Stauch also asserted that she is not able to “successfully participate” in her defense amid the COVID-19 pandemic, only getting on a phone call 3 times a week at the jail.
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby told Law&Crime in a brief phone conversation that they investigate all allegations. Besides that, they had no comment.
The defendant’s attorneys filed a motion in May requesting video conferences with their client amid the COVID-19 pandemic, or that the judge release Stauch on bond. They claimed the jail stopped allowing video conferences for unknown reasons.
At the time, Kirby told KKTV that they never stopped attorneys from meeting clients, and that in-person meetings were still possible.
The defense wrote that in-person meetings were dangerous because of COVID-19. The public defender’s office that represents Stauch has a policy of not commenting on cases.
Letecia Stauch murdered her stepson Gannon on January 27, and attempted to play it off as if she did not know his whereabouts, investigators say. The defendant allegedly said he was supposed to have returned home, but she couldn’t find him at his friend’s house. Authorities claim, however, that “her story dramatically changed multiple times over the following days.”
Authorities suggest she lied about checking on her stepson. They said that she didn’t provide the actual locations of the houses she went to, the names of Gannon’s friends he was purportedly playing with, and the names of those kids’ parents.
The defendant exhibited “abnormal behavior” including getting a rental car, disconnecting her cell phone from the network for an “extended period of time,” “falsely reporting an alleged rape,” changing her story, “abnormal patterns of travels,” and having since left the state of Colorado.
Investigators said they found evidence in Gannon’s bedroom that a “violent event” happened there. There was bloodshed resulting in blood spatter on the walls, and staining his mattress, carpet, carpet pad, and concrete below the bed.
The defendant allegedly attacked a guard while been transported back to Colorado from South Carolina, where she was arrested. Werner granted the defense’s motion in June to have Stauch undergo a mental competency examination. This followed the defendant’s alleged escape attempt from the El Paso County jail.
Gannon’s biological mother Landen Hiott gave a heartbreaking speech after the arrest of the defendant.
“I’ve heard stories of people that have not prayed in years, and have finally fell on their knees to pray,” she said in March. “I know where my son’s at without a shadow of a doubt. So many families have been brought closer together because of this. I know my boy is special and I’ve told my people and my family and friends that Gannon has a testimony. That Gannon has a story. He’s special. And this is his story.”
Update – August 31, 2020, 4:10 p.m.: An El Paso County spokesperson returned a Law&Crime request for comment.
[Mugshot via El Paso County]
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