COLORADO SPRINGS — The court case for Letecia Stauch, the El Paso County woman accused of murdering her 11-year-old stepson Gannon Stauch, has been delayed by at least two months as prosecutors work to provide her evidence in the El Paso County Jail.
The status hearing Friday morning took place one week after she waived her right to counsel and chose to represent herself in her first-degree murder case. At the status conference, it was said that 1,400 pages of paper discovery evidence were delivered to Stauch in the jail, but she told the judge it was confiscated immediately and she did not have a chance to go through it.
The prosecution can redact certain identifying information regarding witnesses. The 1,400 pages in the original transfer of evidence will be destroyed as ordered by the judge because it was not redacted.
During her last hearing, she requested the current preliminary hearings scheduled for March to be waived because she knows "what evidence there is, I can't say certain things 'cause it's on recording." During the latest status hearing, however, she said she cannot make the decision to waive the hearings since she has not been able to go over the evidence.
District Attorney Michael Allen said there would be fewer than 20 witnesses for the preliminary hearings and that the two days blocked off with a third day just in case should be enough time. The case core is about 1,800 pages with a total of around 26,000 pages, not 30,000 pages as previously estimated.
The original proof evident, presumption great hearings that were scheduled for March 11 and 12, but have now been moved to May 20, delaying the case by at least two months.
Tangible evidence could be viewed in the preliminary hearings. Judge wants the prosecution to double check that photos have been taken of all the evidence so that #Stauch can see those, and decide if she wants to see evidence in person. It would be viewed under supervision. @KOAA— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) March 5, 2021
The judge ordered that the case core of 1,800 pages be provided to her in jail by paper, so she can prepare for the hearing on May 20. The judge told Stauch if anything comes up before May 20, to file something through her advisory counsel, and he’ll figure out how to proceed. However, Stauch is not restricted to filing motions through her advisory counsel, which is Josh Tolini.
Following a lengthy conversation last week, the court found she has waived her right to counsel and that she made a "knowing, voluntary, and intelligent decision to do so."
District Attorney Michael Allen said following the decision that she has an uphill battle as it would be tough for her to get up to speed and prepare to represent herself, but this does not impact prosecution.
“We always have the burden of proof, I think we’ve talked about that in the past that we’re always going to make sure that we satisfy that burden of proof regardless of somebody has an attorney or they’re representing themselves," he said.
When Stauch decided to represent herself in this case, she said she was "so confident" in two pieces of evidence "that no science can discredit, and it will clear my name." The judge warned her if she changed her mind close to trial they could find it's a delay tactic and she could be stuck with her decision, which she said she understood.
"It's a constitutional right I have": Letecia Stauch to represent self in first-degree murder case
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