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Defense admits Letecia Stauch killed her stepson, but had ‘no idea’ what she was doing

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- During opening statements Monday afternoon in the murder trial for Letecia Stauch, the El Paso County woman accused of murdering her 11-year-old stepson, the defense admitted she did commit the crime - just that she had "no idea" what she was doing.

Gannon Stauch was first reported missing from his Lorson Ranch home on Jan. 27, 2020. His stepmother Stauch was arrested in early March 2020 for his death. Later that month, on March 17, 2020, his body was found stuffed in a suitcase under a bridge in Florida. According to the autopsy, he had been shot, stabbed, and he had a skull fracture.

Jury selection ended Monday morning and opening statements began at 1:30 p.m. with the prosecution.

4th Judicial District Attorney Michael J. Allen began by saying the defense will attempt to prove that Stauch is insane. However, his team claims Stauch was able to tell the difference between right and wrong at the time of the alleged crime.

"She knew what she did was wrong," said Allen.

Allen brought up the 911 call when she reported him missing when she reportedly admitted to being the last person to see him.

Her defense attorney then spoke.

"It was an awful, awful thing that happened to Gannon," said defense attorney Will Cook, "What happened to that boy in 2020 is beyond description."

Cook went on to say the media has painted Stauch as guilty and goes against the "basic rights of innocent until proven guilty" - claiming they've already lost in the court of public opinion.

He said that he acknowledges that Stauch is a "sick person," but said the motive is key in this case. He claims Stauch was dealing with "trauma and abuse" she allegedly endured in her childhood and that she had no motive just that she "broke."

"She broke on that day. She broke from all that she was right and made sense," Cook claimed. He went on to admit that Stauch committed the crime but had "no idea" what she was doing.

"That person she was attacking, that wasn't Gannon. She was killing the demons from her life, from the dark depths of her childhood," Cook went on to claim.

The trial is expected to last six weeks. Witnesses are set to start taking the stand Tuesday.

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Sean Rice

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


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