Letecia Stauch sentenced to life without the possibility of parole

The judge who sentenced murderous stepmother Leticia Stauch to life in prison without parole called the evidence against her ‘the most gruesome’ he had ever seen and said her actions deserved the maximum sentence under Colorado law.

Jurors convicted Stauch, 39, on Monday of all charges, including murder, for killing his stepson, Gannon Stauch, 11. Speaking to mental health experts after his arrest, Stauch claimed to live with dissociative identity disorder, having personalities with names like Taylor, Jasmin and Maria Sanchez. Apparently, the latter figure claimed to have been the one who killed Gannon. Her defense team argued that she was insane during the murder and that childhood physical and sexual abuse triggered her mental illness.

The judge, Gregory Werner, however took the accused to task for this strategy. He pointed out that few people with mental health issues become violent and even fewer commit murder.

The judge detailed Stauch’s changing stories about Gannon’s disappearance on January 27, 2020, which ranged from Gannon’s simple disappearance, to a kidnapper taking the child away, and then, finally, to “Maria Sanchez” pulling the trigger on the ‘child.

Letecia Stauch hid his body from law enforcement and relatives and took him to Pensacola, Florida, where she pushed him in a suitcase over a bridge railing. Bridge workers found the suitcase – and the remains – on March 17, 2020.

In light of all of this, Werner was in disbelief about the multiple personality claim. Sardonically, he pointed out that there was no time after the murder in which Letecia Stauch came out and wondered, “Well, why am I carrying a body in my luggage?”

Gannon’s birth parents, Al Stauch and Landon Bullard, have spoken of the grief they felt over Gannon’s death and the betrayal they suffered at the hands of Letecia Stauch.

Al Stauch said he did not want restitution from his now ex-wife as the routine payments would bind them for the rest of her life. It was nauseating and infuriating to hear her call herself “Mrs. Stauch” for the past three years, he said.

Bullard said she, Gannon and Al Stauch trusted Letecia Stauch, but the defendant lacked compassion, manipulated everyone and never loved the children in the family.

Werner detailed the scope of this betrayal. Not only did the defendant betray Gannon and his parents, but also his biological younger sister Laina Stauch and Harley Hunt, who is Letecia’s daughter from another relationship. The judge commended Hunt for the courage to testify at this trial. There’s no evidence the young woman played a role in the murder or the cover-up, but some people still believe she was involved in some way, Werner said.

“She wasn’t,” he said.

Werner detailed the macabre nature of the case, pointing out that evidence suggested the defendant stabbed Gannon 18 times as he tried to defend himself. She shot the child in the head and beat him with the butt of a rifle or a baseball bat.

The defense stressed during closing arguments that the state had no motive in the killing, but Werner suggested the more likely response was anger. He argued that Stauch – frustrated with her home life and having to care for Al Stauch’s children – took that frustration out on Gannon.

“You showed no remorse throughout this process,” he said.

The accused chose not to speak at sentencing.

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