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Accused child killer files federal lawsuit claiming violation of rights in jail

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Letecia Stauch, the Colorado Springs woman accused of killing her stepson in early 2020, is now claiming her rights have been violated in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court. 13 Investigates has learned the lawsuit names two El Paso County Sheriff's jail guards, a food service provider, and medical service in the jail.

Stauch says her 1st Amendment rights were violated when she experienced problems with her pre-approved kosher foods in jail. She claims meals were "not wrapped appropriately" and that non-kosher items were placed in her diet.

According to the lawsuit filed on September 22, Stauch says she attempted to alert multiple jail deputies of this since August 2021. She claims no steps were taken to fix the supposed contamination of the kosher foods.

From February 14 to August 14, 2022, Stauch says she was limited to one meal which, according to Stauch, led to weight loss and depression while in pre-trial detention. Stauch has been in jail since was arrested for allegedly murdering her 11-year-old step-son Gannon Stauch in January 2020.

Stauch's second claim is that her 8th Amendment rights were violated by the jail's medical provider. According to the lawsuit, Stauch says the medication that was given to her to treat stomach issues and constipation was not working in November 2021.

The accused murderer claims she has suffered from a "leaky gut and abdominal pain." In addition to that, she says has blood in her stool seven or more days a month. The lawsuit says she requested to be checked by a doctor for multiple months in early 2022. Doctors visits, she claims, never happened.

Since Stauch's arrest, her defense team has questioned whether she was sane when she allegedly murdered her stepson. There have been numerous trial delays, all centered around sanity evaluations and delays with completing those evaluations.

13 Investigates questioned whether the articulate, well-spelled and organized writing in the civil suit will call into question her defense team's insanity argument.

"We have, what appears to be, a very articulate, well-reasoned argument that has been filed in a federal court," Colorado Springs defense attorney Jeremy Loew said. "Everything she is saying are legal terms and making legal arguments."

Loew told 13 Investigates he would never advise his criminal clients to file a civil case in the middle of criminal proceedings. He says it may hurt their insanity argument, even though her words have nothing to do with her pending murder case.

"We have a defendant here that with every step forward that the defense takes, she is taking them two steps back," Loew said.

This is not the first time Stauch has penned documents from her jail cell. Back in August 2020, Stauch sent a hand-written letter to Judge Gregory Werner. In the letter, she claimed that her Constitutional rights through the court process were being violated. She claims she had received cruel punishment and had received threats in her peanut butter.

Two years ago, Loew told 13 Investigates that anything Stauch writes and sends out while in jail can, and likely will be used against her in a court of law.

"Anything she says can be used against her. So if there is a way that the prosecution can use this against her, they are not going to hold back. They are going to use every bullet in that chamber to ensure that Ms. Stauch is convicted," Loew said.

13 Investigates reached out to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office for comment regarding Stauch's claims. A spokesperson said they cannot comment on pending litigation. Stauch's criminal defense attorney, Josh Tolini, said he is not representing her in this civil lawsuit and has no comment on the contents of the lawsuit.

"This is something that happens rarely and she keeps on making life more difficult for herself, and more difficult for her defense team because frankly she thinks she's smarter than everybody else," Loew said.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.

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