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Daughter of allegedly murderous stepmom testifies about defendant claiming it was all a setup and video will show her then-missing stepson came home


A young woman on Monday testified of her mother’s shifting stories and explanations as her 11-year-old stepbrother was missing and as it turned out, had been slain. One particular conversation involved the defendant, Letecia Stauch, 39, talking to her own sister on the phone.

“She just kept saying she was set up, that this video that’s going to surface will show that Gannon came home,” Harley Hunt, who was 17 when Gannon Stauch died, told the court. “Just things along that line.”

Letecia Stauch stabbed Gannon 18 times and shot him in the head (while missing twice) on Jan. 27, 2020. Authorities described a bloody scene.

“I’ve been to crime scenes with a single gunshot wound that has no blood,” Alisa Berriesford, senior crime scene investigator for the Metro Crime Lab in Colorado Springs, Colorado, testified on Tuesday. “I’ve been to crime scenes with a few stab wounds that have no blood. To have blood at that scale and of those types of patterns, there has to be some movement within that scene.”

As an example, she suggested something like a bloody object being swung in Gannon’s room.

Stauch’s defense says she was insane under the law, having suffered from dissociative identity disorder. The prosecution maintains that she knew what she was doing when she cleaned the crime scene, hid Gannon’s body, and told various stories in which the body went missing or was abducted. Bridge workers found the child’s body in a suitcase in Pensacola, Florida, on March 17, 2020.

Commander Mitch Mikhalko testified on Tuesday about her behavior, which he considered suspicious. He described her initial story to deputies, which he described as being about a missing, runaway child. In a story to detectives, however, Stauch claimed that this was an outright abduction and that she had been raped.

When the prosecutor asked if this caused him concern, Mikhalko said yes.

“Because that is not a normal thing,” he said.

The commander also described Stauch as difficult to find for questioning.

The defendant’s brother, Dakota Lowry, previously testified about joining their mother and aunt in going to Colorado Springs to support her after Gannon’s disappearance. He described seeing Stauch struggling with a suitcase — the one prosecutors said she used to move Gannon’s body.

It stood out to him because it looked like she was struggling with it, he said. According to his testimony, he offered to help her, but she answered that she did not need it. When asked, Letecia Stauch claimed it held softball equipment, he testified. Prosecutor Dave Young asked Lowry why he asked her about the contents of the suitcase. “I didn’t feel right about it,” he testified. He said it felt like it was too heavy for her.

The prosecution noted on Monday how they considered charging Hunt because she was in a van with her mother driving across the country with the suitcase in the back. Hunt testified that the thought never crossed her mind, and she did not see her mother as a person who would do that.

“It just never came up,” she said.

In explaining why she did not question her mother, Hunt said that her mother would sometimes backhand her if she talked back.

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