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Court addresses ‘security concerns’ surrounding evidence in Stauch case

leticia-stauch-in-court
Courtesy: Anjali Patel/WPDE

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Letecia Stauch, accused of murdering her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch in early 2020, faced a judge again at the El Paso County Courthouse on Friday to discuss access to evidence in jail and security concerns in light of her decision to represent herself at trial.

The main concern from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at Friday's hearing was that Stauch may be getting more paper in her cell than originally agreed upon, and that could give her an opportunity to hide weapons or other contraband.

On Wednesday, Stauch's court-appointed Advisory Counsel, Josh Tolini, delivered roughly 100 pages of case law talking about a person's right to represent themselves.

Chris Strider, an attorney with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, told the judge that jail staff weren't given any opportunity to weigh in on these security concerns that come with additional paper being delivered to Stauch, especially considering that Stauch had a previous incident with coordinating an escape from jail.

Ultimately, the judge decided that Stauch will allowed to have as much paper as can fit in a standard 12x18x24 property box, which is protocol in this situation. She will have access to the 1,800 pages of case core that she was originally allowed to have in her cell, as well as additional paperwork brought in by her Advisory Counsel. Judge Gregory Werner even went to get a ream of paper during the hearing to give everyone a visual of how much she would have in her cell.

At another point in the hearing, it was revealed that Stauch still has yet to visit the jail's law library. She was given an opportunity to visit the library on Tuesday, but denied that opportunity because she said she didn't have anything to do there yet. Typically, when a defendant waives their access to the jail's law library, their access is stripped for 90 days. Jail staff is making an exception for Stauch in this case, she will continue to have access.

Stauch, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, also raised concerns that when she ultimately did visit the law library, she would be in full restraints and would not be able to use her hands. A representative from the Sheriff's Office said she would be partially restrained, but would be allowed to use her hands to go over the documents as no one else should be with her in the library. She will have four hours of access per week to go over all additional evidence that isn't included in the case core allowed in her cell. It's roughly 24,000 pages of additional evidence.

The hearing also revealed that Stauch wrote letters to the judge. Based on the judge's comments, it appears those letters highlighted Stauch's concerns that the jail was restricting her access to her legal counsel before she decided to represent herself. Referring to the letters, the judge confirmed that Stauch knew her previous legal team was not obligated to file a motion just because she requested it. Then, he asked Stauch if she still wanted to represent herself, she said she does.

The DA's Office raised concerns that they didn't have access to the letters Stauch was writing to the judge. The judge was surprised to learn the letters were sealed, and vowed to make those letters public record. He said it could take a day or two, but because she's representing herself, her correspondence with him will become publicly accessible.

Stauch's next court appearance is scheduled for March 29, 2021. It's listed as a Status Conference. Her previous Status Conference on March 5 provided the judge an opportunity to see how Stauch was doing with getting access to all of her evidence.

Colorado Springs / News

Sydnee Stelle

Comments

2 Comments

  1. “She will have four hours of access per week to go over all additional evidence that isn’t included in the case core allowed in her cell. It’s roughly 24,000 pages of additional evidence.” Well, anyone knows that four hours really isn’t enough time. Thanks Sheriff Elder, for providing her with perfect grounds for appealing any conviction, that she likely will easily win. Who elected this tool again?

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