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Letecia Stauch murder trial: Jurors watch FBI interrogation video, hear call to ex-husband

Letecia and gannon stauch.png
Posted at 12:28 PM, Apr 22, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The murder trial of Letecia Stauch, the El Paso County woman accused of murdering her step-son, Gannon Stauch, in 2020, continued Friday. The third week of the trial wrapped up with jurors listening to multiple calls and watching a video of interactions between Letecia and investigators.

Jurors began the day by listening to a phone call between Al Stauch, the 11-year-old victim’s father, and Letecia where Al continues to ask for more information about Gannon's disappearance.

Al reassures Leticia, "I’m in believe Letecia mode," he says. Finally, she gives him a story about her giving a pregnant woman a ride outside a Petco store, only the woman wasn't pregnant, Letecia said. She had cash coming out of her belly. She claims the woman forced her to go to Petco.

This story came out after Letecia said she needed to drop off some kids who were in the car. She didn’t want them to hear what she was saying. No car doors are heard opening, and no kids are heard on the call.

"To sum it all up, it was being in the wrong place at the wrong time," Letecia tells him.

District Attorney Michael Allen played the recording for jurors as part of the testimony from FBI agent John Grusing.

Grusing testified that it appeared Letecia was trying to probe Al for information about the investigation. It appeared to be a calculated move on her part.

The prosecution then played portions of Grusing's interrogation of Letecia at the Myrtle Beach Police Department. He informed her that she was being arrested for murder.

"So, Gannon was murdered?" Letecia asked. Grusing explained they can't have that conversation unless she was advised of her rights. Grusing gives her a sheet listing her Miranda rights and has her sign it.

Letecia agrees to speak with Grusing. During the conversation, Letecia tells Grusing that Gannon is alive and "I can help you but I'm going to need someone who is going to help me." She said she needed protection for her family. He asked her how she knows Gannon is alive.

Letecia replies that she can't say one hundred percent, but it leads back to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Grusing explains that it's a crime to lie to investigators under federal law.

Later in the recording, Letecia explains how she knew that her calls with Al were being recorded. The things she said to him were out of anger, and she was hurt by Al not wanting to work together to find Gannon.

Another part of the recording is played for the jury. Grusing asked Letecia if she was of sound mind, and asked about any treatments for depression and anxiety. She said she takes a prescription for anxiety. Letecia began to talk about how she's been taking care of the kids for so long.

Allen would play segments from the full interrogation and then paused to ask Grusing questions.

During court testimony, Allen asked Grusing why he'd question whether or not Letecia was of a sound mind. He explained that he spoke with the DA's office and was already thinking ahead to trial during the initial conversation.

Allen asked about Letecia's statements explaining her behavior toward Al. It seemed to Grusing that she was trying to make Al come back to her. They discussed grievance mentality and whether grievance can be a pathway to violence.

In the interrogation video, Grusing asked Letecia pointed questions about the night that Gannon was last seen. He questioned her about a fire in the basement, and about a pool of blood on the floor of Gannon's bedroom.

He also told her that he had records of her search history on her phone.

"The stuff you've entered and deleted, like blood is spurting from an arterial bleed, direct pressure is not controlling," Gursing said in the recording.

Letecia denied searching for that information. Gursing continued listing the search history with the phrases "I don't like my stepson," and "I don't like my stepson, should I get a divorce?"

At one point in the video, after describing the pool of blood in the bedroom, Grusing tells Letecia it had to have come from a head wound or neck wound. Letecia takes time to write a note in Grusing's notebook.

In court, Allen asked Grusing what she wrote.

"I just remember the first part that the head wound was on Saturday," Grusing testified.

Allen asked Grusing for his take on what Letecia wrote about regarding the head wound in his notebook.

"I wasn't pushing her, I would give her the opportunity to talk and then she would not talk so I would move on," he said. "Now that we're to the blood and what happened in the room I think it was too difficult for her to say it out loud."

Letecia continued to make statements that someone else was responsible for what happened to Gannon and wanted assurances that she would be protected if she revealed what she knew.

She wanted to speak with Grusing without being recorded. So, the Myrtle Beach Police accommodated her request a couple of hours into the interrogation by moving them to another room.

Grusing testified that Letecia told him about a woman named Angel who she'd met on an app on her phone for the purpose of engaging in a threesome. She also said that Gannon injured his head the day before his disappearance while pushing two beds together.

Letecia provided few additional details about Angel when she and Grusing returned to the interrogation room.

At the time of his disappearance, law enforcement began a search for Gannon based on information provided by the stepmother who claimed he had gone to a friend’s house and had not returned.

Following several weeks of law enforcement and community-led searches for the missing boy, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office arrested Letecia Stauch in early March on charges of murder, child abuse, and crime of violence before his body was recovered.

Throughout all efforts to locate Gannon, investigators were already focused on Letecia Stauch based on her statements to law enforcement and evidence found at the family home and within her car.

During an initial interview with detectives, Letecia Stauch claimed a Hispanic male had raped her and kidnapped Gannon. According to court documents, she refused to undergo a medical examination to find evidence of a sexual assault and refused to provide any further description of an attacker. She later provided many different versions of events, which investigators detailed in the arrest affidavit.

Investigators believe Gannon was shot, stabbed, and beaten in his basement bedroom by the stepmother on January 27, 2020. A forensic search of the family home found blood stains were found on the boy’s mattress, carpet, baseboards, and electrical socket by his bed.

'My little boy is not coming home': Parents react to news of stepmother's arrest on murder charge

Gannon Stauch's stepmother charged with first-degree murder

Police say Gannon’s body was loaded into Stauch’s Volkswagen Tiguan to hide his body before she parked the car at the Colorado Springs Airport where she rented another vehicle and picked up his father after he traveled for military service.

One of the areas searched by law enforcement was a stretch of Highway 105 in Douglas County where investigators recovered a piece of bloody wood. The arrest affidavit states investigators believe Gannon’s body was originally dumped at this location using her Volkswagen, but she later returned to the area in another vehicle.

Gannon’s remains were eventually found on March 17, 2020, inside a suitcase dumped under a bridge near Pace, Florida. Investigators believe the stepmother dumped the body during a trip to South Carolina.

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