EL PASO COUNTY — Letecia Stauch chose not to attend the final court proceeding regarding her divorce from Gannon's father, Al Stauch.
Letecia is accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson Gannon in their Lorson Ranch home on January 27, 2020. Among other things, she is being charged with first-degree murder in the case, and has decided to represent herself in court.
Al tells News5 the two have been divorced since September of 2020, and the final hearing on Friday, April 30, was to address the split of assets. "Just the fact that I don't have to think about this anymore, that it's done, is a huge weight lifted," said Al Stauch after the hearing.
Before the hearing began, individuals in the courtroom said Letecia had refused to come in person to the hearing. There were no available booths for her to join virtually either, as those were scheduled for other inmates at the time. A clerk also asked Al if Letecia is physically disabled, and he said no. However, the clerk told him she had been seen in a wheelchair.
When Judge David Miller entered the courtroom, he began by addressing Letecia's mental competency. She has had two competency evaluations completed in her criminal case, one of which Judge Miller called the "most thorough" he's ever seen. The reports showed no significant symptoms of mental illness. He said he reviewed the evaluations to see if his impression of her "theatrical performance" was corroborated by the reports.
Judge Miller described the behavior he observed from Letecia, saying it was like no other "detachment from reality" he has ever seen. He mentioned a time when she was in an empty room, but said it was full of people. Judge Miller also claimed he watched her chasing what seemed to be invisible butterflies. He compared her actions to The Three Stooges. The judge believes she was "feigning mental illness," and decided that if she is competent to proceed in her criminal case, she is competent to proceed in this civil case. "We'll press on," said Judge Miller.
During the hearing, Al and his attorney explained letters they say Letecia wrote to them. Apparently, Letecia claimed she has a book publishing deal and Poshmark account. Al’s attorney said Letecia expects to be exonerated and plans to write a book on her experiences. Letecia also states in the letters that she plans to file a civil suit when released, according to Al. "She's done a lot of things that people might question, and question her about. None of it surprises me at this point," said Al.
A handful of firearms was one category of possessions addressed at the hearing. The guns are currently with investigators. Al asked for the discretion to destroy any gun that may have been used in his son's death. Among the counts filed by prosecutors against Letecia, three of the crimes of violence are the use of a firearm, blunt object, or knife related to first-degree murder. The exact weapon has not been revealed to the public.
The judge ordered that if it is found one of the guns was involved in Gannon's death, the authorities will destroy it. If they cannot, then it will be given to Al to do so. "Some of the things that we had to discuss about him drew some emotions. But yeah, he's always at the forefront, right there with his sister, you know, she's got a life ahead of her as well dealing with this, so they'll never be separated in my mind," said Al.
Since Letecia's arrest, two of Al's vehicles have been in police custody. He's still been making monthly payments on the cars. He also says he has accrued thousands in attorney fees. "It's a complex situation, as you know. Nothing will trump the loss for me, and Landen, and for Laina, that we feel every day with Gannon. But then to compound it with financial issues, the emotional stress, and just having to live with these things going on, as I said, some of the weight has been lifted after today, but you know, we still have a long ways to go, and we're going to make it all the way through," said Al.
Both Al and Letecia will maintain their own retirement accounts.
Letecia will appear in court next on Wednesday, May 5.
Letecia's preliminary hearing is set to start on May 20, according to court dockets. That's when evidence will start being presented, and witnesses will be called to the stand. The prosecution has previously said they plan on calling witnesses from the FBI during the hearing.
"Hard to imagine the day:" Gannon Stauch's father reflects after one year without son
Letecia Stauch loses law library privileges until July at her own request
Letecia Stauch's letter arguing for self-representation released
Logistics for getting Letecia Stauch evidence in jail hashed out in court
Letecia Stauch's case pushed back 2 months as evidence is provided to her in jail
"It's a constitutional right I have": Letecia Stauch to represent self in first-degree murder case
Previous coverage on the Gannon Stauch case