COLORADO SPRINGS — On Friday, an El Paso County woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson, Gannon Stauch, asked to change her plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
The judge said he will allow the plea to go forward, but Stauch will have to go through a mental health evaluation.
The evaluation is expected to take longer than normal and the judge said he did not know if the trial date was "in jeopardy".
Investigators believe Letecia Stauch killed her stepson in their Lorson Ranch home on January 27, 2020, before driving his body to the Florida panhandle where it was eventually discovered in March 2020.
Stauch faces over a dozen charges, including first-degree murder.
Stauch's defense also asked for a motion not to have a jury due to a large amount of publicity the case has received, which will make it difficult to find a fair jury.
Stauch's defense attorney said he wants more time to discuss the jury with Stauch, since the decision is ultimately hers.
Both the judge and the prosecution argued that waiving a jury would be premature.
The judge went on to address Stauch directly and said without a jury, she gives up the possibility of a second chance at a trial. He went on to ensure her that, in his experience, jurors come in with an open mind.
"I think jurors really, really take their obligation seriously," said the judge. "They are going to decide this case based on fact."
The judge says he believes they should vacate the trial date and keep the March 17 date as the next court appearance.
The trial date will depend on when the mental health evaluation is completed.
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