COLORADO SPRINGS — A review hearing for Letecia Stauch, who is accused of murdering her stepson, Tuesday afternoon revealed her mental evaluation that was ordered in early June has been completed and she has been found by the state hospital competent to stand trial.
Letecia Stauch's lawyers have lined up a second opinion to review the evaluation, which has been extended past its usual 35-day deadline due to COVID-19 concerns. News5's Colette Bordelon was inside the courtroom and reported Gannon Stauch's father, Al Stauch, was in the room as well.
Letecia Stauch is in the courtroom. She has not looked up much. State hospital found her competent to stand trial, but defense will challenge that with a second opinion. That review is set for Nov. 12 at 9 AM. @KOAA— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) September 8, 2020
When the evaluation was ordered in June, prosecutors asked the judge to have the competency test be Tier 1 because of how much attention this case has with the judge agreeing with that statement. That meant it had to have been completed in 21 days, but it was not discussed why she has not been evaluated within that period.
Under Colorado law, if a subject is found to be competent to stand trial, the case can proceed. If a subject is found not to be competent, they could be ordered to continue care under doctor's guidance, then return to court in 90 days for another hearing to determine competency. The process can be repeated indefinitely.
At the end of August, Stauch wrote a letter to the judge overseeing her case claiming she is receiving unconstitutional treatment while in jail and that she has only met with her defense team once in five months.
Stauch said in the letter she has been abused at least 15 times while being transported, including injured ribs, bumps to her head, and other injuries, and that she has had threats delivered in her food.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office sent a release Tuesday morning regarding the information they can release about her in-custody complaints.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is looking for clarification from the courts on what exactly they can release to the public regarding #LeteciaStauch’s in-custody complaints. This comes after Stauch wrote a letter to the judge, saying she’s being mistreated in jail. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/fxWGRb8Zib— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) September 8, 2020
The court discussed what the sheriff's office could release to the public regarding those complaints detailed in the letter, but the judge said he expects them to examine media requests as they would any other request.
Gannon, 11, was reported missing in January by Letecia Stauch who said he had gone to a friend's house and did not return home. Weeks later, a body found in Florida was identified as the boy. She was arrested on March 2 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as a result of thousands of hours spent in the investigation and searching for Gannon.
After months of waiting for Gannon's autopsy to be filed from Florida, it was announced in court Tuesday that his autopsy has been completed and given to both the defense and prosecutors.