NewsGannon Stauch Case


Letecia Stauch Trial Day 2: Gannon's father testifies, FBI-recorded phone call raises concerns

Al Stauch describes the key moment when, “I switched from, she knows more than what she’s telling me she knows."
Al Stauch, Gannon's father, testifies in murder trial for Letecia Stauch
Posted at 9:42 PM, Apr 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-05 11:41:02-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — On Tuesday, Al Stauch, the father of Gannon, was the first witness to be called to the stand to testify in the murder trial for Letecia Stauch. He described Letecia as manipulative, and also spoke about the moment that he began questioning Letecia’s involvement in his son’s disappearance.

Letecia Stauch is the El Paso County woman accused of murdering her stepson Gannon in January 2020.

On the witness stand, Al said he was out of town for work and military training in Oklahoma, when he learned about his son’s disappearance on Monday evening January 27, he said he flew home so he could help find his son.

He said, Letecia picked him up from the airport, but she picked him up in a rental car that was not hers. He said he found it strange that she rented a car to search for Gannon, because she said she was worried about the mileage. He added, “In these moments, when it’s an emergency, miles on the car don’t matter. In the moment, I was like, ‘do whatever you want.’”

He said Letecia told him that she was dropped off at the airport by a coworker and had left her car at French Elementary School in Security-Widefield. This is where Letecia had worked at the time.

By Tuesday, he had already provided a statement and interview with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. After that, he said he went home to check on the family, then went back out to search for Gannon. He said he was going to drive by the game store to see if Gannon was there. Then it occurred to him, to drive by French Elementary School.

He said he drove around the school three times, and didn’t see Letecia’s vehicle. He said that was the key moment when, “I switched from, she knows more than what she’s telling me she knows… The search for that black car is really what changed my mind about what was going on.”

“I didn’t get too far out of the parking lot, and said, ‘Hey, something’s wrong.’” Then he called the Sheriff’s Office for a second interview that day.

For the last two hours of the day, jurors and those in the courtroom listened to a phone call from February 2020, weeks after Gannon’s disappearance. The phone call was between Letecia and Al. District Attorney Michael Allen said the FBI was working with Al at this point, and told him how to handle the conversation. Al said he was looking to know more about the timeline leading up to Gannon’s disappearance.

During the phone conversation, you heard Letecia tell Al about a man who had broken into their home, raped and beat Letecia, then kidnapped Gannon. “My mind was completely f**king gone,” Letecia Stauch said. “I tried, I didn’t know what was going on."

Earlier in testimony, Al said, “My first impression was that it was a bulls**t story.”

During the phone conversation, Letecia claimed she was being treated like a criminal, and investigators and law enforcement were “barking up the wrong tree.”

During the phone conversation:

Al: “I have a very straight up question. Did you kill Gannon?”
Letecia: “No!”
Al: “I need you to answer me, yes or no.”
Letecia: “Did I kill Gannon? The answer is no. I can’t believe you asked me this,” she yelled.
Al: “I have to be straight up… There’s a lot of unknowns. This is the 4th version of the same story… I just don’t know what the hell is going on.”
Letecia: “I loved Gannon… I would never want to hurt Gannon.”

District Attorney Michael Allen asked Al about a few examples in he and Letecia’s relationship where he felt manipulated by her. Those included two false burglary reports, and claims of sexual harassment from someone in Al’s unit while he was stationed in Alaska, that eventually led Al to wanting to leave. Allen also asked Al if Letecia told Al that she was pregnant with twins at one point. Al responded, “yes.” He went on to say, he believes she was never pregnant with twins, and he never went to doctor’s appointments related to a pregnancy.

Al also testified saying Letecia told him that Gannon had threatened her with a knife.

Allen: “Did you ever see threats out of Gannon?” Al: “No threats out of Gannon ever, knife or no knife.”

When asked to describe Gannon’s relationships with Letecia, Al said it was trusting and comfortable. He added, “I think he had love in his heart for her, I don’t think he was afraid of her. One of the things about Gannon, he absolutely loved his mom, and had some of that same love for Letecia. He was a mama’s boy.”

Al also described the last time he saw his son, Gannon. They were at the top of the stairs, and he said to Gannon, “You’re always going to be in my heart, and I’m going to be in your heart… He (Gannon) said, ‘Ok daddy, I love you and I’m going to finish watching Pokemon.’ I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Toward the beginning of his testimony, Al said Gannon was born four months early and weighed 1lb, 6oz when he was born. He held up his hands to show how he held his son for the first time. Emotional and filled with tears, he said this is also how he held the box Gannon was in after he died.

Al also talked about how Gannon loved playing video games, and dreamed of being a YouTube gamer. His favorite game was Super Mario.

Throughout Al’s testimony, Letecia had her head facing down, with her hair covering her face. She was wearing a turquoise jacket.

The trial will resume on Wednesday morning with Al returning to the witness stand to testify. Dozens more witnesses will be testifying in the weeks ahead. Trial is expected to take up to six weeks.

As is normal in Colorado courts, media coverage of the events will be limited. As of right now, no cameras will be allowed in the courtroom to cover the actual trial process. However, anyone can watch using the virtual courtroom option from the El Paso County court system.


Gannon Stauch


READ MORE: Prosecutors challenge insanity claim during opening statements in Letecia Stauch's murder trial

Opening Statements

Monday was an emotional day for family and friends, as they'd been waiting months, even years for this trial to begin. Toward the beginning of opening statements, Gannon's biological mom was seen running out of the courtroom, overcome with emotion.

District Attorney Michael Allen was the first to address the jury. He told them the question they will have to answer is whether Stauch is not guilty by reason of insanity. Allen said the evidence will show that the defendant knew between right and wrong, and knew what she was doing as she committed these crimes.

They showed a video taken by Letecia before the murder happened. You couldn’t see Gannon, but can hear him crying and expressing concern about the burns he had gotten. In the video, you could hear Letecia talking about a fire and having to sell items.

The prosecution then showed an autopsy report, which indicated Gannon suffered stab wounds, gunshot wounds, and blunt force trauma. Allen talked about the murder happening in Gannon’s bedroom, which was supposed to be a safe place for a kid, not a nightmare.

Allen said there were no obvious signs of murder because Stauch had cleaned it up. The weapon used to stab Gannon has not been found, and shell casings were not found in Gannon’s room.

Trial of Letecia Stauch begins

The jury then listened to an audio recording from when Stauch called 9-1-1 to report Gannon was missing. When the dispatcher asked, who was the last person to see Gannon alive, Stauch answered, “I guess me.”

Allen said Stauch took deliberate actions to hide her crimes from the world and changed her story multiple times about what happened.

Defense Attorney Will Cook also said this will come down to the sanity question. They asked the jury to give Stauch a fair chance and hear their side of what happened. They said Stauch was legally insane when she killed Gannon.

They also showed a photo taken the day before the murder of Letecia and Gannon smiling with one another.

But behind her smile, they said were years of trauma including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, that she had suffered since she was a child. They said this led to her being diagnosed with a multiple personality disorder.

They also said during the trial, the jury will not hear a motive as to why she would've done this, and that she was in a major psychotic episode at the time Gannon was killed. They said her actions in January 2020 didn’t make sense, and therefore she wasn’t sane.

During opening statements, Stauch had her head facing down, with her hair covering her face most of the time.

Prosecutors also dismissed count 3, which is child abuse resulting in death. Allen said this was charged before Gannon’s body was recovered.

Stauch has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gannon’s disappearance

At the time of his disappearance, law enforcement began a search for Gannon based on information provided by the stepmother who claimed he had gone to a friend’s house and had not returned.

Following several weeks of law enforcement and community-led searches for the missing boy, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office arrested Letecia Stauch in early March on charges of murder, child abuse, and crime of violence before his body was recovered.

Throughout all efforts to locate Gannon, investigators were already focused on Letecia Stauch based on her statements to law enforcement and evidence found at the family home and within her car.

During an initial interview with detectives, Letecia Stauch claimed a Hispanic male had raped her and kidnapped Gannon. According to court documents, she refused to undergo a medical examination to find evidence of a sexual assault and refused to provide any further description of an attacker. She later provided many different versions of events, which investigators detailed in the arrest affidavit.

Investigators believe Gannon was shot, stabbed, and beaten in his basement bedroom by the stepmother on January 27, 2020. A forensic search of the family home found blood stains were found on the boy’s mattress, carpet, baseboards, and electrical socket by his bed.

'My little boy is not coming home': Parents react to news of stepmother's arrest on murder charge

Gannon Stauch's stepmother charged with first-degree murder

Police say Gannon’s body was loaded into Stauch’s Volkswagen Tiguan to hide his body before she parked the car at the Colorado Springs Airport where she rented another vehicle and picked up his father after he traveled for military service.

One of the areas searched by law enforcement was a stretch of Highway 105 in Douglas County where investigators recovered a piece of bloody wood. The arrest affidavit states investigators believe Gannon’s body was originally dumped at this location using her Volkswagen, but she later returned to the area in another vehicle.

Gannon’s remains were eventually found on March 17, 2020, inside a suitcase dumped under a bridge near Pace, Florida. Investigators believe the stepmother dumped the body during a trip to South Carolina.

TIMELINE: From Gannon's disappearance to an arrest

What’s ahead in the trial

In the years since Letecia Stauch’s arrest, she’s been in court many times for hearings about her mental competency, whether she would represent herself in court, and has made accusations of mistreatment.

News5 has reported on the original arrest affidavit in the case and limited information presented in pre-trial hearings. We expect to learn much more about how investigators say Letecia Stauch misled investigators at the same time the community was working to hopefully find Gannon alive.

Civil case filed in federal court

Letecia Stauch has a pending federal lawsuit claiming her First and Eighth Amendment rights were violated in jail. Stauch names a medical service provider, and a food service provider, as well as two El Paso County deputies in the complaint.

Stauch claims she's been mistreated while in jail by claiming she was not properly given kosher food and that the jail neglected to give her medical care.

Currently, the case is in the initial review period with the court. A judge will decide if the case should be dismissed or if it should proceed.


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