EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Week one of the Letecia Stauch trial wrapped up Friday with evidence and expert testimony about 11-year-old Gannon Stauch’s body found 1,300 miles away under a bridge.
Plastic-covered evidence presented in the courtroom Friday included a large green suitcase. The defendant kept her head down and had hair over her face as the suitcase passed by her in the courtroom.
Police testified about finding Gannon’s body inside the suitcase under a bridge in Pensacola, Florida on March 17, 2020.
“This is going to be the bullet extracted from the victim’s head and the two plastic pieces found in there,” Santa Rosa County Crime Scene Technician Kelly Smith testified.
Smith said, during the autopsy, they uncovered one bullet in Gannon’s head and two other bullets in a pillow found with him in the suitcase.
Smith testified that Gannon’s clothes on his body showed “defects” that matched injuries on his body.
Alexis Pack, a former employee at the Candlewood Suites Hotel in Pensacola, testified that Stauch checked in and out of the hotel over a month before Gannon’s body was found on Feb. 4, 2020.
Smith said the smell, maggots and coloration of the suitcase showed a lot of decomposition by the time they found Gannon.
Later Friday morning, law enforcement and a former boss of Stauch’s testified about her emotions and demeanor during the time of Gannon’s disappearance.
“In situations like this, where a child as young as Gannon, 11 years old, is missing or running away for the first time, there’s usually more emotional reaction,” El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jason Hess said.
Hess testified that Stauch did not appear to be suffering from disassociative identity disorder when they met and spoke about Gannon’s disappearance in the final days of January 2020.
Leslie Hicks, an assistant principal at the school Stauch was working at as a resource teacher in January of 2020, talked about a text Stauch sent her at 3 a.m. on the day she reported Gannon missing.
“I’m sorry for the time of night message but my stepfather passed away, someone hit him with a car while he was walking,” Hicks read from a log of the text messages.
Following the lunch recess, body camera video played from the night Letecia reported Gannon missing.
“I am almost positive he is with someone he knows because he searched on his phone ‘can my parents find me if my phone is off,’” Stauch is heard telling deputies over the body camera.
The trial continues on Monday morning at 9 a.m.