COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A timeline for the trial of Letecia Stauch, the stepmother accused of killing 11-year-old Gannon Stauch, was laid out Thursday on the two-year anniversary of the child’s disappearance and death.
The painful anniversary was made more difficult as family sat feet away from Gannon’s accused killer in court. FOX31 spoke to Gannon’s biological mother, Landen Hiott, before the hearing in El Paso County.
“It doesn’t feel like two years,” she said.
Letecia Stauch appeared in person as Judge Gregory Werner denied a handful of motions filed on her behalf: motions to suppress cell phone data, wiretap information and information from her security cameras. Werner said he would evaluate another motion filed by the defense to change the trial venue at a later date.
After, he addressed what he called a “more concerning issue” of Stauch’s third mental evaluation. The state hospital will conduct this third evaluation, but a recent letter to the court explained that, because of the enormity of files in the case, that won’t happen until the end of February. The court would get results by March 31.
Werner called this update problematic because the trial start date is set for March 28. He said they will address this at the pre-trial readiness hearing on March 17.
The judge also laid out a potential timeline for the trial, expected to last four to six weeks depending on how jury selection goes.
A preliminary plan could have 70 people coming to the court each day beginning March 28 to find unbiased jury candidates. If it lasts a week, that would bring in 350 candidates who would also all fill out a questionnaire. From those who come in, the judge would like a pool of 70 people that would then be narrowed down to 16 jurors and two alternates.
Werner said his hope is that the jury selection would take no longer than a week and opening statements could begin on April 4.
Gannon’s mother said faith and support from “Gannon’s Army,” people worldwide following in the search and now fight for justice for Gannon, is what helped her get past these two unthinkable years without her son.
“I have faith that justice is going to come,” Hiott said. “I have to have that faith and I’m hoping and I’m praying for a swift justice, but I’m also prepared for it to maybe take longer.”
“I find peace in that he’s a face of love and one thing I’ve learned is that love can go so much further,” Hiott said. “I’ve learned that through him, and I’ve learned that through others with the loss of him. That’s how I get through, to be honest with you — love and support.”