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Prosecutors not ruling out possible death penalty case against Letecia Stauch

Letecia Stauch (EPCSO booking photo)
Posted at 6:33 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 07:20:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson made her first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon and was advised of the charges against her for the presumed death of Gannon Stauch.

Letecia Stauch was arrested on March 2 and has officially been charged with:
1st Degree Murder (victim under 12) by a person in position of trust (Class 1 Felony)
Child abuse resulting in death (Class 2 Felony)
Tampering with a deceased body (Class 3 Felony)
Tampering with physical evidence (Class 6 Felony)

Prosecutors announced Wednesday afternoon they have not ruled out the possibility of pursuing the death penalty in this case. A bill recently passed in the Colorado General Assembly calls for the repeals of the state’s death penalty for any crimes charged by prosecutors on or after July 1, 2020.

"I hope he gets justice. I hope she goes to prison for life 'cause the death penalty, that would just be too easy for her. I hope she suffers every day while shes in there," said Christy Gibson, a Fountain resident who has been following the case.

Stauch is expected back in court on April 14 for a status conference. Prosecutors said they have to go over 100 search warrants in this case and some of those warrants are from South Carolina, while the majority are local.

KOAA is among media organizations who have filed a motion seeking the release of court documents in this case. A judge is currently considering the motion and is expected to make a decision soon. The Judge ordered the defense get a copy of the unsealed affidavit on Wednesday in court.

It is standard in Colorado for an arrest affidavit to be available to the public after a defendant is formally charged, unless prosecutors or the defense make a viable argument that the release of the information would negatively impact the trial process. The prosecution said in court they would not object to the affidavit being unsealed.

Still, the prosecution reminded everyone these charges are allegations at the moment. "She is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," said Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen.

The arrest of Letecia Stauch was a result of thousands of hours spent in the investigation and searching for Gannon, who investigators said they do not believe is alive. The sheriff's office said they have not found Gannon and will continue investigation efforts.

Letecia Stauch makes first appearance in El Paso County Court

The defense is asking for a review hearing. Prosecution said the “sheer volume” of discovery is taking them a while to get it to defense. The prosecution now has 21 days to get their discovery evidence to the defense.

Meanwhile, at the same time as the court proceedings on Wednesday, Gannon's father and the Restoration Church collaborated to release a video showing photographs from throughout Gannon's life. Gannon's father, Al Stauch, said he did this to make sure his son remains the focus of this case.

Gannon was reported missing on Jan. 27 by his stepmother after she said he left to go to a friend's house and never returned, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. Three days later, the sheriff's office changed his status to missing and endangered.

For more information on the Gannon Stauch case, click here.