Letecia Stauch could be moved to state hospital this week; more testing underway on remains
The woman accused of killing her stepson and, most recently,
will now have her fitness to stand trial evaluated.
The defense team's request for a competency evaluation was granted during court proceedings Friday, meaning Letecia Stauch could be moved to the state hospital in Pueblo as soon as this week.
"The defendant is going to be evaluated for competency, which means that she will be evaluated to see if she understands the proceedings, the nature of the charges, the role of people in the courtroom including her defense council, prosecution and the judge," Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen explained to 11 News.
Stauch is accused of murdering 11-year-old Gannon Stauch in late January and twice hiding his body, first in Douglas County and later in the Florida Panhandle. She was arrested five weeks to the day after she allegedly reported Gannon as a runaway to local authorities.
Allen said the move to test Stauch's competency will delay the case from moving forward.
"The biggest thing is that this just slows things down, everything in this case now is stayed until the evaluation comes back from the state hospital. It realty is just going to slow things down tremendously until we get that evaluation complete," he told 11 News.
Robert Dear, the self-identified Planned Parenthood shooter, has been in legal limbo for nearly five years due to repeated competency evaluations. In his case, he has been found unfit to stand trial each time.
Allen said the next review hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8, though her evaluation results from the state hospital could come back sooner.
"If that happens, we could potentially get an earlier date. We will just have to see how that goes.”
But he also warned because of the ongoing pandemic, the results could also come back later.
"As we have seen with the pandemic, everything is delayed now, including competency evaluations, can be delayed. That is because of transfer issues if you take somebody from the jail, the jail is very reluctant to take somebody back into the jail to ensure that they don't have a spread inside of our jail."
Allen addressed the discovery of Gannon's remains, telling reporters after Stauch's hearing Friday that the jawbone was sent to Colorado from Florida for further confirmation that the deceased child found near Pensacola, Florida was indeed him.
"Basically what we had from Florida is a tentative identification of Gannon’s remains. We have done some evaluations; what we talked about in court is that we have done some further evaluation and we are confident, 100 percent, that it is Gannon’s remains. We are doing some further testing for further confirmation."
Allen explained the identity has to be confirmed with Gannon's dental records due to the state of his body when he was located.
Gannon's father was present in court Friday, while his mother was dialed in on the phone listening. Gannon's father started divorce proceedings against Stauch shortly after her March 2 arrest.
Monday, Jan. 27
- 6:55 p.m., El Paso County Sheriff's Office dispatch receives call of a runaway child, 6600 block of Mandan Drive in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood.
- 7:32 p.m., Gannon Stauch entered into state and national databases as active runaway
- Last seen between 3 and 4 p.m. on the 27th
- Nothing found on initial search
Tuesday, Jan. 28
- 12:29 p.m., case turned over to EPSO investigators
- Detectives conduct interviews, collect surveillance, follow up on additional leads
- Arrest affidavit says this was the day Stauch hid Gannon's body in an area north of Palmer Lake in Douglas County. She would allegedly return to this spot over the next few days to make sure his remains were hidden.
Wednesday, Jan. 29
- Investigation continues
Thursday, Jan. 30
- Upgrade case from runaway to endangered missing child
- EPSO requests resources from NCMEC and FBI Crimes Abduction Rapid Deployment Team
Friday, Jan. 31
- Letecia Stauch speaks exclusively to 11 News reporter Spencer Wilson. She leaves for South Carolina shortly after this interview.
Monday, Feb. 3
- Neighbor comes forward with home surveillance video showing a driver and passenger getting into a truck the day Gannon went missing, and only one person returning hours later.
Wednesday, Feb. 5
- 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May is first seen at the Stauch home.
Thursday, Feb. 13
- Search for Gannon moves into Douglas County.
Friday, Feb. 21
- Douglas County search suspended. Sheriff's office says there remains the potential for search efforts to start up any time.
Monday, March 2
- Letecia Stauch arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Wednesday, March 4
- Stauch allegedly attacked a deputy and was held in a Kansas jail, according to a source.
Thursday, March 5
- Stauch arrives in Colorado Springs for a video advisement hearing.
Wednesday, March 11
- Stauch makes her first physical appearance in El Paso County court. Proceedings were attended by Gannon's parents and was standing room only.
Friday, March 20
- Authorities announced they believe they found the remains of Gannon in Florida and file new charges against Stauch.
Thursday, April 2:
- Stauch's arrest papers leak online.
Tuesday, May 5:
- Authorities announce a paralegal for the Brighton City Attorney's Office is facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly leaking the Stauch affidavit.
Tuesday, May 19:
- Attorneys for Stauch file a pair of motions calling for her preliminary hearing to be pushed back, as well as possibly allowing her to bond out of jail so that she is able to have video and phone access with counsel from the safety of her home."
Thursday, May 28:
- The judge agrees to push back Stauch's hearing. Stauch's attorneys are told that if they wished to proceed with the motion concerning bond, they must be ready to present evidence at the next court date.
Thursday, June 4:
- Stauch is in court on escape charges after second arrest affidavit alleges she was plotting to break out of the El Paso County jail.
Friday, June 5:
- Mental evaluation ordered for Stauch.