COLORADO SPRINGS- On Tuesday an El Paso County judge ruled that Letecia Stauch, the woman authorities say beat her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch to death, was competent to stand trial following two evaluations conducted to determine the matter.
The ruling comes 51 weeks after Stauch reported the boy missing, claiming at the time he had gone to a friend’s house and never returned.
Prosecutors say instead, Letecia Stauch beat Gannon, evidenced by the blood stain on his bedroom floor.
Stauch was arrested on March 2 in South Carolina. Her next court appearance will be more than a year after her arrest. On March 11 and 12 during a pretrial hearing, prosecutors must show they have enough evidence to move the case to trial.
“We’ll be prepared to present this case to the court and eventually a jury,” said District Attorney Michael Allen in a press conference following Tuesday’s ruling. Allen will lead the prosecution against Stauch.
Also on March 11 a judge will determine if Stauch will be placed on a no-bond hold, and only allowed to leave confinement to attend court proceedings.
“We’re approaching a year since Gannon went missing and we want to get this case moving,” Allen said.
The road to justice for Gannon has been a long one, and it isn’t over yet.
Timeline of Events:
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 dissappearance
January 30, 2020: With Gannon’s birth mother, Landen Hiott, in town, the EPCSO announce they classify Gannon as an “Endangered Missing Child” and assign the major crimes division to investigate.
February 4, 2020: Then-District Attorney Dan May and Michael Allen 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 cyber bullying 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 Caronlina on charges that include first-degree murder
March 3, 2020: Letecia Stauch in court in South Carolina and waives opposition to her extradition to Colorado
March 4, 2020: Letecia Stauch in court in Colorado and waives her advisment of charges
March 11, 2020: Letecia Stauch is formally charged in Colorado with First Degree Murder (Of a child under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust), 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 for a multi-day pretrial hearing set for June 5 & 8 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 had 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 complete Stauch’s competency evaluation and determine she 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, 2020: Stauch’s second competency evaluation finds that she is competent to stand trial, date for pretrial proceedings to determine sufficient burden of proof is set for March 11.
Given Allen’s confidence in the evidence obtained against Letecia Stauch, he told FOX21 he doesn’t envision a plea deal being negotiated.
“A case of this magnitude – I always expect it’s going to go to a jury trial,” Allen said. “To prepare a case like this and not prepare as if we’re going to trial, that’s not the way we handle business in this office.”