COLORADO SPRINGS — Letecia Stauch, the stepmother arrested on murder charges in connection with 11-year-old Gannon Stauch’s disappearance, will be in court on Thursday, Sept. 9, and Friday, Sept. 10, for a preliminary hearing.
Gannon was reported as a runaway on January 27, 2020. At first, Stauch said he went to play at a friend’s house and didn’t return. A few days later, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office amended the case to that of a missing and endangered child. Stauch was the last person to have seen Gannon alive. His remains were eventually found later that year in Florida.
The 32-page arrest affidavit was filed before Gannon’s body was found in Pace, Florida. The arrest papers were also leaked before the judge unsealed the document.
According to arrest records, Stauch gave law enforcement several stories as to what happened to her 11-year-old stepson, including sexual assault, kidnapping, a bike accident, and her initial report of simply failing to return home after visiting a friend.
In all, Letecia Stauch has been charged with the following:
- 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)
Stauch is being held without bond at the El Paso County Jail. She had wanted to represent herself before receiving new counsel. Stauch has had two mental evaluations.
FOX21’s Lauren Scharf will be in the courtroom each day for the preliminary hearing. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom. You can follow live updates from her tweets here.
This timeline of events generated by FOX21’s Brandon Thompson and former digital producer Angela Case surrounding the Stauch case are as follows:
January 27, 2020: Letecia Stauch reports Gannon missing to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
January 28, 2020: Social media posts and media alerts are sent out regarding Gannon’s disappearance.
January 30, 2020: With Gannon’s birth mother, Landen Hiott, in town, the sheriff’s office classifies Gannon as an “Endangered Missing Child” and assigns the major crimes division to investigate.
February 4, 2020: Then-District Attorney Dan May and Michael Allen are seen at the Stauch home in Lorson Ranch, reporting they are “just part of the investigation.”
February 11, 2020: Letecia Stauch releases a lengthy statement to FOX31 KDVR saying she has been the victim of cyberbullying and that she hopes for Gannon’s return.
February 27, 2020: Major parts of the EPCSO search for Gannon are suspended, a month after his disappearance.
March 2, 2020: Letecia Stauch is arrested in South Carolina on charges that include first-degree murder.
March 3, 2020: Letecia Stauch, in court in South Carolina, waives opposition to her extradition to Colorado.
March 4, 2020: Letecia Stauch appears in court in Colorado and waives her advisement of charges.
March 11, 2020: Letecia Stauch is formally charged in Colorado with first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, tampering with a deceased human body, and tampering with physical evidence.
March 18, 2020: Gannon’s body is found off a roadway in Florida. The remains are later identified as Gannon’s through dental records.
April 3, 2020: The sealed arrest affidavit is leaked and subsequently unsealed, making public the gruesome evidence EPSCO investigators found in the Stauch home and areas near Palmer Lake, leading to Letecia Stauch’s arrest.
May 12, 2020: Letecia Stauch’s defense team asks for a delay in a pre-trial hearing that would have determined if the prosecution’s evidence was enough to go to trial. Attorneys for Stauch say regulations on visitation at the El Paso County jail have made it impossible to speak to their client.
May 18, 2020: A new charge is filed against Letecia Stauch as EPCSO says another inmate told them that Stauch was trying to escape the jail.
June 5, 2020: An El Paso County judge orders a competency evaluation for Letecia Stauch.
September 8, 2020: State mental health experts determine Stauch is competent to stand trial. Stauch’s defense team requests a second evaluation.
November 4, 2020: Stauch requests a delay in pretrial proceedings due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the El Paso County Jail.
December 22, 2020: Stauch undergoes a second competency evaluation.
January 19, 2021: Stauch’s second competency evaluation finds that she is competent to stand trial. Her next court appearance is set for March 11.
In March of 2021, Stauch wrote a letter to Judge Werner saying that she was not mentally well, that “indeed I am innocent”, and that she believed that her defense team “is in cahoots with them (prosecution), I am left with no other choice but to represent myself”.
In May of 2021, Stauch was back in court where her new defense counsel told the judge that her case needed more time to be reviewed. It was at that time that the preliminary hearing date was set for Thursday, Sept. 9, and Friday, Sept. 10.