Letecia Stauch sentenced to life without parole

The judge who sentenced murderous stepmom Leticia Stauch to life in prison without parole called the evidence against her the “most horrific” he has ever seen and said her actions deserved the maximum punishment under Colorado law.

Jurors convicted Stauch, 39, on Monday of all charges, including murder, for killing her stepson, Gannon Stauch, 11. Speaking to mental health experts after her arrest, Stauch claimed to live with dissociative identity disorder, having personalities with names like Taylor, Jasmine, and Maria Sanchez. Ostensibly, this last persona claimed to have been the one to kill Gannon. Her defense team argued she was insane during the killing, and that physical and sexual abuse as a child sparked her mental illness.

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

The judge detailed Stauch’s shifting stories about Gannon’s disappearance on Jan. 27, 2020, which ranged from Gannon simply going missing to an abductor taking the child, and then, finally, to “Maria Sanchez” pulling the trigger on the child.

Letecia Stauch hid his body from law enforcement and loved ones and took it all the way to Pensacola, Florida, where she pushed it in a suitcase over a bridge railing. Bridge workers found the suitcase — and the remains — on March 17, 2020.

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

Gannon’s biological parents, Al Stauch and Landon Bullard, spoke of the heartache they experienced from Gannon’s death, and of the betrayal they experienced from Letecia Stauch.

Al Stauch said he did not want restitution from his now-former wife because the routine payments would link them for the rest of his life. It was nauseating and infuriating to hear her be called “Mrs. Stauch” for the last three years, he said.

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

Werner detailed the scope of that betrayal. Not only did the defendant betray Gannon and his parents, but also his younger biological 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 is no evidence the young woman played a role in the killing or cover-up, but some people still think she is somehow involved, Werner said.

“She wasn’t,” he said.

Werner detailed the grisly nature of the case, pointing out that evidence suggested that 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 gun or a baseball bat.

The defense pointed out at closing arguments that the state had no motive in the killing, but Werner suggested the likeliest answer is anger. He argued that Stauch — frustrated with her home life and having to take care of Al Stauch’s children — took this frustration out on Gannon.

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

The defendant chose not to speak at sentencing.

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Letecia Stauch sentenced to life without parole

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