An El Paso County jury on Monday convicted Letecia Stauch in the murder of her 11-year-old stepson in 2020. Stauch was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, murder of a child under 12 by a person in a position of trust, tampering with physical evidence, and tampering with a deceased human being.
During, prosecutors presented evidence they claim linked Stauch to the January 2020 murder. They said that investigators found Gannon's blood on Stauch's shoe, found her DNA on a gun linked to his death and learned that the Colorado Springs-area woman traveled to the Florida Panhandle shortly after he disappeared. The child's remains were found there in March 2020.
Attorneys for Stauch, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, countered that by claiming she suffered a major psychotic episode as a result of childhood trauma when she killed Gannon.
Witnesses for the defense included a doctor of psychology who is trained to identify certain disorders and has interviewed Letecia. She said she believes Letecia does have different personalities and particularly remembers meeting one referred to as "Maria."
The jury didn't buy that defense, instead convicting her on all counts brought against her.
The judge began the sentencing for Letecia Stauch about 30 minutes after the verdicts were read.
Before he handed down the sentence, the judge admonished Letecia Stauch for claiming mental illness as the reason for her actions and said that it did a disservice to those who actually suffer from mental illness.
"You have shown no remorse during this process," said the judge.
Gannon's mother Landen Hoitt read an emotional statement at the sentencing hearing, saying she initially tried to connect with Letecia Stauch when Letecia married Gannon's father.
"Mother to mother, I trusted her with my children," said Hoitt.
Hoitt went on to say that Letecia cannot love anyone but herself and is incapable of caring for another human being, "She had everyone fooled... When all along she was the one hurting innocent children, breaking my kids and murdering my son."
"Gannon will always be my son. That will never be taken away," said Hoitt.
Gannon's father also read a statement at the sentencing, remembering when Gannon was born prematurely that he weighed one pound six ounces and fought to survive.
"I would never have left you home alone with a murderer and the person who would be the last one to see you alive," said Al Stauch.
"No matter what the sentence is, it will never bring Gannon back," said 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen.
"The facts, in this case, are the most horrific I have ever seen. Your conduct in this case deserves the maximum sentence that I can impose according to Colorado law," said the judge immediately before he sentenced Letecia Stauch to life without parole, the remainder of her life in prison without the possibility of parole for the two counts of murder, among other sentences for the charges of tampering that will be served consecutively to the two life sentences.
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