An El Paso County jury on Monday convicted Letesia Stauch of killing her 11-year-old stepson in 2020. Stauch was found guilty of all charges, including first-degree murder, murder of a child under 12 by a person in a position of trust, tampering with physical evidence and tampering with a deceased human being.
During the Colorado process, prosecutors presented evidence they say linked Stauch to the January 2020 slaying. They said investigators found Gannon’s blood on Stauch’s shoe, found her DNA on a gun linked to his death and learned, that the Colorado Springs-area woman traveled to the Florida Panhandle shortly after he disappeared. The child’s remains were found there in March 2020.
Attorneys for Stauch, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, countered that she suffered a major psychotic episode as a result of childhood trauma when she killed Gannon.
Defense witnesses included a doctor of psychology who is trained to identify certain disorders and who interviewed Letesia. She said she believes Letesia has multiple personalities and particularly remembers meeting one called “Maria.”
The jury did not accept this defence, instead convicting her on all charges brought against her.
The judge began sentencing Letesia Stauch about 30 minutes after the verdicts were read.
Before handing down the sentence, the judge chided Letecia Stauch for citing mental illness as the reason for her actions and said it does a disservice to those who actually suffer from mental illness.
“You have shown no remorse during this trial,” the judge said.
Gannon’s mother, Landon Hoyt, read an emotional statement during the sentencing hearing, saying she initially tried to contact Letesia Stauch when Letesia married Gannon’s father.
“A mother to a mother, I trusted her with my children,” Hoyt said.
Hoyt went on to say that Letesia can’t love anyone but herself and is incapable of caring for another human being, “She fooled everyone… All the while she was the one hurting innocent children, breaking my children and killing my son.”
“Gannon will always be my son. That will never be taken away,” Hoyt said.
Gannon’s father also read a statement at the sentencing, recalling that when Gannon was born prematurely, he weighed one pound six ounces and struggled to survive.
“I would never leave you home alone with a killer and the last person to see you alive,” Al Stauch said.
“No matter what the sentence is, it will never bring Gannon back,” said 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen.
“The facts of this case are the most horrific I have ever seen. Your conduct in this case deserves the maximum sentence that I can impose under Colorado law,” the judge said shortly before sentencing Letesia Stauch to life in prison without parole. the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole on the two murder charges, with other sentences on the tampering charges to be served consecutively to the two life sentences.