The woman charged with stabbing and shooting her 11-year-old stepson to death previously claimed the child had it out for her, the victim’s father testified on Tuesday. To the recollection of dad Al Stauch, that allegation involved his son Gannon Stauch threatening defendant Letecia Stauch, 39, with a knife or coming at her with a knife. The father said he never saw anything like this and also said he saw no evidence Gannon had it out for the defendant.
“Absolutely never witnessed that, period,” Al Stauch said of his son’s alleged grudge.
Prosecutors say it was Letecia Stauch who stabbed Gannon 18 times in his bedroom while Al Stauch was out of town for National Guard work on Jan. 27, 2020. She fired three rounds at him, missing twice but striking him once in the head, according to authorities.
Letecia Stauch pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but the state asserts she knew right from wrong when she cleaned up the scene of the crime and hid evidence, including putting Gannon’s body in a suitcase, driving it all the way from their home in El Paso County, Colorado, to Pensacola, Florida, and dumping the suitcase over a bridge railing. She had reported the child missing on the day of the murder, authorities said.
Investigators said she lied to them, telling them shifting stories about what happened and even falsely claiming Gannon’s biological mother Landen Hiott had something to do with the disappearance. A bridge worker found the suitcase, including the child’s remains, on March 17, 2020.
In his opening statement, defense lawyer Will Cook did not dispute that the killing happened but advised jurors against prejudging the case based on widespread media coverage.
“There is no explanation for it,” he said of the killing. “I don’t have one.”
He maintained that his client had dissociative identity disorder and experienced both physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her mother’s lovers while growing up.
Al Stauch testified Letecia Stauch made things up in order to manipulate the relationship. That included her making up two burglary claims in 2019. For example, as evidence, she pointed out a hammer hanging from a string in the garage, the father testified. She maintained that a “squatter” had gotten into their home, though no one was ever found, he said. She eventually admitted to making up the break-ins, he testified. Most of the stories she told were “not accurate,” he said.
Al Stauch testified that he last saw his son on Jan. 25, 2020. They were at the top of the stairs — Al testified that he was about to leave with his mother. He gave his son a hug, and as always, ran his fingers through the child’s hair. He told Gannon he loved him.
“Something I would always tell the kids when I had to leave or when they would go back to their mom’s house, was like, ‘You’re always going to be in my heart, and I’m always going to be in your heart, and I’ll see you when I get back,'” Al Stauch said. “And he said, ‘Okay, daddy, I love you, and I’m going to finish watching Pokémon.’ Remember it like it was yesterday.”
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