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Waitlist at state hospital in Pueblo could cause delay in Letecia Stauch’s murder trial

KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Letecia Stauch, the woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch, is expected to undergo a mental health evaluation surrounding her alleged actions after Gannon's death, but a backlog at the state hospital could cause a delay in the case.

Stauch appeared in court virtually on Thursday for a hearing about the mental health evaluation. Judge Gregory Werner asked why Stauch wasn't present in court, and she said that she hadn't received medication while in jail, and that's why she wasn't appearing. Judge Werner said he had been "pretty patient" with Stauch, and told her that she needs to file a motion seven days in advance before not appearing, or a deputy will bring her to the courtroom.

Stauch, 38, is facing numerous charges in connection with the death of her stepson in early 2020. Gannon was reported missing from the Lorson Ranch neighborhood, but his body was found weeks later in a suitcase near a Florida highway. Stauch is also facing charges for an attempted escape while she was in custody early after her arrest.

(RELATED: Affidavit reveals timeline in Letecia Stauch's arrest for murder)

The prosecution is requesting that Stauch's mental health evaluation be completed at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. However, during Thursday's hearing, Judge Werner said he received information that the CMHIP had 352-person waitlist as of two weeks ago, and he said he believes it has grown since then.

Judge Werner said it's not likely that the evaluation will be completed soon, and Stauch's next hearing was pushed to Jan. 13, though Werner acknowledged they may have to reschedule it again if Stauch is in Pueblo at the time.

(RELATED: Hearing reveals grisly details in Gannon Stauch's alleged killing)

Stauch's trial is set for March 28, but a written report from a completed mental health evaluation must be disclosed 63 days before the trial, which would put a deadline for the report in late January. Judge Werner said he's open to suggestions to move the process along faster, but 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said he doesn't believe there are any good solutions.

This evaluation is specifically for Stauch's actions after Gannon's alleged killing. Stauch was already found competent to stand trial for murder after two separate evaluations.

Stauch is being held in custody with no bond at the El Paso County Jail.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

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Sydnee Scofield

Sydnee is a Senior Reporter and Weekend Anchor for KRDO NewsChannel 13. You can learn more about her here.

Comments

4 Comments

  1. “Waitlist at state hospital in Pueblo could cause delay in Letecia Stauch’s murder trial”
    Not like she is going anywhere anytime soon.

  2. True, but our court system knows this too, only far better than she ever could. If the Judicial system fails the People, well that is on the Judicial System. Does Justice deserve to be served, yes; but it must be done in accordance with the laws of the state and the Const(i)tution. And if the Judicial system is the ones requesting her mental evaluation and the State Hospital is backlogged, then is this in any way her fault? It is the courts burden to prove her mental competency before she stands trial, even a speedy trial. This isn’t a new procedure, and if she has had to prior mental competencies done and found to be able to stand trial and the court is requesting a third, well that sounds like the judicial system didn’t like the first 2 answers and are shopping around for one they do agree with, which is not justice.
    This is our government’s handbook and they have to play by the rules just as much as we the citizens do as well.
    If the Judicial system fails the People, well that too isn’t the alleged suspect’s fault, based upon those same rules.
    I don’t want to see this system fail, but it has been failing the people in my view for a lot longer than this case.
    Every citizen deserves the right of innocence until proven guilty, and this only becomes a problem when you believe they are guilty before they have been tried in a court of law.
    What are you looking for, justice or vengeance?

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