COLORADO SPRINGS — The arrest affidavit for Letecia Stauch detailing the events that led investigators to believe she murdered her 11-year-old stepson has been released by the 4th Judicial District Friday morning following authorization by the court.
We're learning more about the case following the discovery of the boy's body and additional charges filed against his stepmother. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said they received a call on March 20 from the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office in Pace, Florida, regarding a deceased boy. An autopsy was performed and the remains were tentatively identified as Gannon Stauch.
According to the arrest affidavit, investigators believe Gannon was murdered in his basement bedroom by Letecia Stauch on Jan. 27 based off blood evidence found in his bedroom. Letecia Stauch then loaded Gannon's body into her Volkswagen Tiguan to hide his body, according to the document.
The affidavit says blood stains were found on his mattress, carpet, baseboards and electrical socket by his bed. It also states she attempted to clean the blood using vinegar and baking soda.
Letecia Stauch kept her vehicle parked at Colorado Springs Airport with Gannon's body until Jan. 28 when she picked it up and drove to the dump site, the affidavit said.
The dump site was discovered through cell phone documents and blood found in the area of Highway 105 and S. Perry Park Road in Douglas County. Investigators began searching that area on Feb. 12.
Investigators said her "story dramatically changed multiple times" in the days following her reporting Gannon Stauch missing to authorities. There is no information available in the affidavit about the discovery of Gannon's remains in Florida on March 20 due to her arrest taking place on March 2.
In the initial call to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 27, Stauch told deputies Gannon went to a friend's house and had not come home. The document states authorities did not believe she went to nearby houses to search for Gannon and "was one of many lies told by Letecia during the investigation."
One of those lies, according to investigators, that Letecia Stauch told was that a Hispanic man assaulted her and abducted Gannon.
Attorney Stephen Longo weighed in on these new details found in the affidavit, saying the evidence is strong and the defense cannot depend on the credibility of Stauch to hold up in court. "I think the only potential plea agreement would be a matter of efficiency for her to plead life in prison without the possibility of parole, and if she's not willing to accept that, it may go to trial ... Their only chance is to attack the credibility of the forensic evidence, how it was collected," Longo said.
Following the discovery in Florida, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has filed additional charges against Letecia Stauch. Here's a full list:
- Count 1 - Murder in the first degree (first degree felony)
- Count 2 - Murder in the first degree (first degree felony)
- Count 3 - Child abuse resulting in death (second degree felony)
- Count 4 - Tampering with a deceased human body (third degree felony)
- Count 5 - Tampering with physical evidence (sixth degree felony)
- Count 6 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of firearm
- Count 7 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a blunt instrument
- Count 8 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a knife or other sharp instrument
- Count 9 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - unlawfully causing the death of Gannon Stauch
- Count 10 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a firearm related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
- Count 11 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a blunt instrument related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
- Count 12 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a knife or other sharp instrument related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
- Count 13 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - unlawfully causing the death of Gannon Stauch related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
Prosecutors announced 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.
Stauch is expected back in court in June for a status conference. A final date has not yet been determined. 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.