(COLORADO SPRINGS) — What once was a call to action, “Justice for Gannon,” is now a reality for the 11-year-old boy’s mother and father. When Letecia Stauch was found guilty of murdering her stepson Gannon, his parents got to walk out of the courthouse with the feeling that they can finally move on with their lives.
FOX21 sat down with Gannon Stauch’s parents to find out what the future looks like for them.
Three grueling years after their son was killed, and five weeks of a trial that many would call a parent’s absolute worst nightmare, on Monday, May 5, Landon Bullard and Al Stauch walked out of the El Paso County Courthouse for the final time.
That afternoon, Gannon’s parents walked out to a rainbow beaming across the sky. Both of them saw this as an act of God and a sign from their beloved son from heaven.
“It was a promise that has been fulfilled. I prayed for countless hours, and to walk out and to see that [the rainbow] it’s just a reminder that ‘hey you are real, I am here with you.’ It was just another confirmation for me and it gave me a lot of peace,” said Bullard.
The jury found Letecia Stauch guilty of all charges, and she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now that justice has been served, his parents are going home. Bullard says she can finally breathe again, but also feels an emptiness leaving this community that has supported her and her family through this process.
“I would have never imagined the hospitality of the community… I’ve seen grown men and women cry and they’ve never met my son… We’ve created a family here,” Bullard said in tears.
During the sentencing, Al Stauch asked the judge for Letecia to be stripped of his last name. He said it has been “nauseating and infuriating” to have to endure hearing her called Ms. Stauch over the past three years.
Stauch also asked the judge for no restitution. He said that the $1.50 per month he would get, is not worth it. They want to move forward, without her.
“My losses are well in the six figures… but I would rather pay every cent of those losses back than be connected with her,” said Stauch.
Bullard says she just wished she would’ve heard Letecia Stauch say two simple words – “I’m sorry.” When asked if she thought Stauch would ever come around, she said, “I would expect she wouldn’t do it. So I’d have to put her on the back burner and just move forward.”
They now turn inwards to focus on their families. Gannon’s sister, Laina Stauch, who was just eight years old when her brother was murdered, continues to keep the memory of him alive. Bullard said Laina often recalls the nickname Gannon gave her, “buggy buttcheeks,” and that she misses those silly nicknames.
“We went and watched Mario the other day and she [Laina] said, let’s save a seat for boba. So, we saved the seat for Gannon,” said Bullard.
Bullard said she wants to commemorate her son through service with the Justice for Gannon Foundation. With the foundation, she first hopes to push for legislation that puts more resources toward finding missing children. She also wants to create a fund for grant opportunities for children and families that might be going through something like this.
Her message to parents now is to not forget about the little things.
“Give them a kiss on the cheek and just let them know how much you love them. Or go back to writing a note, sticking it in their lunch box… I have a letter that I hold on to. It’s one of the last ones that Gannon wrote me, and it was actually stuck in my car, in my armrest, and it said, ‘Dear mommy, I love you. You’re the most awesomest Mommy I know,’ and I still have that,” said Bullard.