Letecia Stauch: Stepmom who killed and discarded body of Gannon Stauch, 11, ‘like garbage’ convicted of murder
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EL PASO, COLORADO: Stepmom, 39, who killed her stepson Gannon Stauch, 11, has been convicted of murder and tampering with evidence. Defense for Letecia Stauch argued that at the time of the murder, she had a psychotic break that led her to murder the boy. However, prosecutors stated that she was aware of her actions throughout the incident.
According to the prosecution, Letecia killed her stepson while her then-husband Al Stauch was at work in town for National Guard and their other children were not at home. On January 27, 2020, the victim's younger sister Laina Stauch was asked to wait outside when she arrived home on the bus. While Laina waited outside, Letecia reportedly cleaned up the crime scene and hid the evidence. Later, she called 911 to report Gannon's missing, reported Law and Crime.
Gannon Stauch's stepmom drove to pick up his dad with his body in back of her car hours after murder
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'Is that evidence of psychosis?'
"Everything that happened to Gannon from that point forward was her decision. She carried out actions to kill Gannon, to put his body in the suitcase and hide it, to hide evidence of what she did to Gannon, told numerous stories to investigators to manipulate the course of the investigation, and finally to discard Gannon inside that suitcase off of a Florida bridge like garbage," said Michael Allen, the District Attorney of the 4th Judicial District, as reported by Law and Crime.
A day after the stepmom murdered the 11-year-old boy, she practiced a 10-minute run on her Volkswagen Tiguan to check if anyone would catch her shifting her stepson's body from their residence. Letecia then decided to rent another car to carry out discarding the body.
"Is that evidence of psychosis? Or is that evidence of thinking things through?" said prosecutor Dave Young. Letecia then drove the suitcase that contained Gannon's remains from Colorado to Pensacola, Florida. During the search for the boy, she was taken into custody in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On March 17, 2020, the suitcase was discovered
Stauch allegedly had multiple personalities
According to the defense, the killer lived with a dissociative identity disorder and her interview footage with medical experts showed her claiming to them about her condition. Letecia who was previously analyzed by Dr Jacki Grimmett for her competency to face murder charges said that she claimed she had different personalities who were named Jasmine, Tecia, Taylor "and I believe, Jasper."
However, Grimmett suggested that these signs were inconsistent with her purported condition and has chosen the names after her aspirations and things she liked. "The alters present themselves to you. You don’t create them, and you don’t name them kind of whimsically," said Grimmett.
One of Letecia's several personas admitted to killing Gannon
In her defense, an expert named Dr Dorothy Lewis testified that the defendant may not remember murdering her stepson. Under a different persona named 'Maria Sanchez', a self-styled protector personality admitted to shooting Gannon to death when she spoke to Lewis in one of the interview footage. However, Grimmett testified that Letecia never disclosed to her this particular personality.