The court ordered a mental evaluation test Friday for Letecia Stauch, the woman accused of murdering her stepson, after receiving a motion late Thursday that raised the issue of her competency.
Since the court does not have enough information to make a decision on her level of competency, the test was ordered and she will be picked up by the state mental hospital from jail. Prosecutors asked the judge to have the competency test be Tier 1 because of how much attention this case has with the judge agreeing with that statement. This also means the state hospital has to pick her up in seven days.
The prosecution pointed out that Letecia Stauch that the mental evaluation will have to be done in 21 days. A meeting is scheduled on July 17 after the mental health evaluation is completed.
Gannon Stauch, 11, was reported missing in January by his stepmother who said he had gone to a friends house and did not return home. Weeks later, a body found in Florida was identified as the boy. She was arrested on March 2 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as a result of thousands of hours spent in the investigation and searching for Gannon.
In Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that a jaw bone from Florida was sent to the county to do dental record confirmation this week and it was identified as Gannon. The defense stated they have not received an autopsy report from Florida medical examiners.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen said that the level of decomposition on the body has been delaying Florida medical examiners, but he anticipates the process to move faster because of the dental record confirmation.
Al Stauch, Gannon Stauch's father, sat in court Friday morning behind the defense while Landen Hiott, Gannon's mother, dialed in by phone. Letecia Stauch's preliminary hearing was previously scheduled for Friday, but the defense filed motions to delay them due to COVID-19.
Following the discovery in Florida, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has filed additional charges against Stauch. Here's a full list:
- Count 1 - Murder in the first degree (first degree felony)
- Count 2 - Murder in the first degree (first degree felony)
- Count 3 - Child abuse resulting in death (second degree felony)
- Count 4 - Tampering with a deceased human body (third degree felony)
- Count 5 - Tampering with physical evidence (sixth degree felony)
- Count 6 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of firearm
- Count 7 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a blunt instrument
- Count 8 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a knife or other sharp instrument
- Count 9 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - unlawfully causing the death of Gannon Stauch
- Count 10 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a firearm related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
- Count 11 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a blunt instrument related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
- Count 12 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - use of a knife or other sharp instrument related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
- Count 13 - Crime of violence (special enhancer) - unlawfully causing the death of Gannon Stauch related to murder in the first degree - child under 12 years of age
Prosecutors announced they have not ruled out the possibility of pursuing the death penalty in this case. A bill passed in the Colorado General Assembly calls for the repeals of the state’s death penalty for any crimes charged by prosecutors on or after July 1, 2020.
Prosecutors announced at the status hearing Friday that there are 115 search warrants, 113 normal search warrants, two title three search warrants with the defense saying there are 23,000 pages of discovery at this point.
This status hearing comes one day after she was advised of a new charge she is facing: solicitation to escape. The affidavit for this charge accuses Stauch of writing notes to inmates, detailing plans to escape through a window at the jail.
Her next expected appearance in court will be Sept. 8.
Letecia Stauch faces new charge for solicitation to escape
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For more on the Gannon Stauch case click here.