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Mental state of accused child killer Letecia Stauch continues to be focus in murder trial


EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- The mental state of the El Paso County woman accused of killing her stepson, continued to be the focus of her murder trial Wednesday. The question remains on whether or not she could testify in her own defense.

The prosecution asked forensic psychologist Dr. Dorothy Lewis if Letecia Stauch has the capacity to know right from wrong. It's a question Lewis couldn't answer clearly.

The prosecution asked if Stauch used rational thinking or if she had the intent to kill when she allegedly used multiple objects to kill 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, stuffing him in a suitcase, cleaning up the crime scene, and still having a calm demeanor when police were called.

In all those instances, Lewis testified that she didn't know what was going through Stauch's mind. Lewis said multiple reports indicate she loved Gannon and he loved her.

When asked if Stauch knew right from wrong when dumping Gannon's body, however, Lewis said she had the capacity to know she needed to hide the body but wasn't sure if she knew right from wrong.

Lewis interviewed Stauch in November 2022 inside the El Paso County Jail to determine Stauch's mental state at the time of the murder. According to Lewis, Stauch regularly "switched" to speaking in a Russian accent and doesn't identify as herself.

In her testimony, Lewis said Stauch told her that the person who killed Gannon was "protecting Letecia and her family" and the person who was killed - Gannon - was a threat to them. Stauch reportedly claimed the first thought of her alternate personality "Maria" was to "hide the body" after killing Gannon.

Lewis stated that Stauch claimed she's killed other "threats" before, saying she "snapped other people's necks in Mexico" but wouldn't say when those alleged killings occurred.

Stauch's lawyer said his client will make the decision to testify after witness testimony for the defense–which could happen as early as Wednesday.

Her defense attorney said Stauch "hasn't made up her mind" on if she'll take the stand.

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