COLORADO SPRINGS — A judge ruled on Friday that Letecia Stauch will undergo a third mental health evaluation from the state, potentially causing a delay in her murder trial due to a backlog at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo.
Stauch is accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch in January of 2020. Gannon’s body was found weeks later in a suitcase under a Florida highway.
On Thursday, Dec. 9, Judge Gregory Werner was not happy when Stauch wasn’t in-person during her hearing. She appeared over Webex from the jail, which the judge said the jail is no longer in COVID protocol. Stauch explained that she wasn’t being provided her medications so it would be unsafe for her to be in court. The judge advised Stauch that she would need to file a motion at least 7 days prior to a hearing if she wasn’t going to show up in court, or the court will be forced to extract her from the jail.
Stauch’s defense attorney’s Will Cook and Josh Tolini claim she is suffering from a dissociative disorder. Someone with this disorder suddenly becomes observers of their own speech and actions, or their bodies may feel different to them. They may also experience memory loss of certain time periods and can suffer from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
In September of 2020, state psychiatrists told the court that Stauch was competent enough to stand trial, but her attorneys asked for a second opinion. In January of 2021, a second mental competency evaluation was completed, finding her, once again, competent.
Stauch is charged with:
- Murder in the First Degree (Child Under Twelve – Position of Trust)
- First-degree murder
- Child Abuse Resulting in Death
- Tampering with a Deceased Human Body
- Tampering with Physical Evidence
- Crime of violence (8 counts)
- Solicitation to commit escape
Stauch’s next motions hearing is set for Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. This date may be moved again depending on when or if Stauch’s third mental evaluation is complete.
Her trial is scheduled for Monday, March 28, 2022, and will likely take six weeks. This puts the third completed mental health evaluation deadline to be in late January, as it must be disclosed 63 days before the trial.
She is currently being held without bond in the El Paso County Jail.