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Letecia Stauch, accused of killing 9-year-old stepson, back in court ahead of murder trial

KRDO

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Letecia Stauch, the El Paso County woman accused of brutally murdering her stepson, appeared in court Thursday, exactly two years to the day since she reported the fifth-grader missing.

11-year-old Gannon Stauch was found under a Florida bridge weeks after his 2020 disappearance. A law enforcement officer present for his autopsy reported that he had been shot, stabbed, and also had a skull fracture.

In early March 2020, police arrested Stauch for first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and other charges while she was in South Carolina. She also faces charges for an attempted escape while in custody early after her arrest. Since her arrest, Stauch has pleaded not guilty.

Thursday, in an El Paso County Courtroom, Stauch appeared in person after failing to come to the jail for her last couple of appearances. She stayed quiet through most of the hearing, only briefly consulting with her attorney.

Judge Gregory Werner addressed several motions during her appearance. The first three involved evidence that Stauch's defense attorneys asked to be suppressed from the trial.

The first motion pertained to Stauch's cell phone usage. Judge William Bain authorized a search warrant for her iPhone during the investigation, and investigators were able to search through all of her texts, call history, social media posts, her GPS locations, and her access to her home's Ring doorbell system.

Judge Werner ruled that information from her original cell phone will be allowed in court. He references that some of that information shows that she called in sick to work on January 27, 2020. She then called out the following day to work saying her father-in-law had been killed. She also used her phone to communicate continuously with her daughter and she made several social media posts.

After that phone was seized, Stauch purchased two more. She bought one on her way out of state. During her preliminary hearing, law enforcement testified that her phone showed GPS locations that proved she traveled to Florida and then to South Carolina in the days following Gannon's disappearance. She also purchased another phone while she was out of state.

Judge Bain ruled that investigators were allowed to wiretap both phones while she was using them. The defense filed a motion asking Judge Werner to keep the information from those wiretaps out of trial, but he ruled against that Thursday. Judge Werner ruled that all the information gleaned from both of the phones she purchased will not be suppressed from the trial.

The defense also asked Judge Werner to keep information about Stauch's ADT Home Security System from the jurors at trial. The judge ruled against the defense again, saying that her security system information will be allowed to be used in court.

In Stauch's last court appearance, her attorneys raised the concern that Stauch may have been suffering from some type of dissociative disorder after Gannon's murder. They asked for a mental health evaluation specific to her conduct after he died, as she is facing charges for her behavior during that time period.

We learned Thursday that her mental health evaluation will likely take place in late February, with the report ready by March 31. Her trial is currently scheduled to start on March 28.

After both sides conferred with the judge privately about the timing of the evaluation, Judge Werner opted to address the trial start date at Stauch's next court appearance, which is scheduled for March 17.

Another revelation out of the courtroom Thursday is how many El Paso County citizens will be involved in her trial.

The court is planning to call hundreds of people for the jury pool. They'll call 70 people per day until they're able to get to 16 jurors who will be able to sit through six weeks of trial, only 12 of which will decide Stauch's final verdict.

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Sydnee Scofield

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