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Letecia Stauch's lawyers say mental competency test to be completed soon

Letecia Stauch's lawyers say mental competency test to be completed soon
Posted at 11:30 AM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 13:51:27-04

Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the Letecia Stauch case appeared in court Friday to discuss her upcoming mental competency evaluation that was ordered in early June.

Stauch, who is accused of murdering her stepson Gannon Stauch, was not present in court at the advice of her lawyers. Her lawyers asked for a mental evaluation to see if she was competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors said in Friday's hearing they have filed subpoenas to get her mental health, medical and employment records from Fort Carson and Academy District 20 to help establish her current mental state.

District 20 officials released a statement in March following the announcement of her arrest to notify parents of an employment offer made to her in January. The district said they conducted a background check of Stauch, but ultimately they did not follow through with the hire because reference checks "revealed inconsistent information." Her employment offer was taken away on Jan. 29.

The judge did not rule on the subpoenas after the defense objected it would not fall within establishing competency, but asked prosecutors to provide case examples where these records were obtained before an evaluation was completed.

When the evaluation was ordered in June, 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. That meant it had to have been completed in 21 days, but it was not discussed why she has not been evaluated yet.

The defense said Stauch's competency evaluation will be done next week or the following week.

Under Colorado law, if a subject is found to be competent to stand trial, the case can proceed. If a subject is found not to be competent, they could be ordered to continue care under doctor's guidance, then return to court in 90 days for another hearing to determine competency. The process can be repeated indefinitely.

Gannon Stauch, 11, was reported missing in January by his stepmother who said he had gone to a friend's 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.

Prosecutors revealed during the June 5 hearing that a jaw bone from Florida was sent to the county to do dental record confirmation this week and it was identified as Gannon.

Both the defense and prosecutors are waiting for the autopsy to be filed from Florida.

A review date for Stauch's evaluation is set for Aug. 7 to see if she has been to the state hospital. If the evaluation is completed by then, the next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 8 to see if the evaluation has been completed. Depending on whether or not it was completed, the judge will determine if Stauch must appear before the court.