Stepmother accused of killing stepson found trial competent

This Thursday, March 5, 2020 booking photo provided by the El Paso County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office shows Letecia Stauch. Stauch, suspected of killing her missing stepson, was returned to Colorado to face charges after being arrested in South Carolina. She was arrested Monday, March 2, in Myrtle Beach, on a warrant for charges including first-degree murder of a child in the death of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch. (El Paso County Sheriff’s Office via AP)Letecia Stauch

COLORADO SPRINGS |  A judge in Colorado ruled Tuesday that a stepmother who is accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson is competent to stand trial.

The case against Letecia Stauch, 37, will now advance to a two-day preliminary hearing where prosecutors will present evidence they say support the charges against the stepmother, The Gazette reported.

The judge will then decide if there is enough evidence to continue with the charges, one of which is for first-degree murder.

Stauch is accused of killing 11-year-old Gannon Stauch at their home before dumping his body in a rural area in Douglas County. The investigation into the boy’s death yielded evidence that indicated he was attacked with a knife or other weapon while lying in bed, authorities said.

Stauch had publicly denied involvement in the death. But she was arrested March 2 in South Carolina.

Gannon’s remains were found in March in Santa Rosa County on the Florida panhandle. Authorities said they were uncertain about how the remains may have been transported from Colorado to Florida.

Stauch is being represented by the state public defender’s office, which does not comment on cases.

The judge will also decide in the March hearing whether Stauch is eligible for bond.

Staunch had done a psychological evaluation in September that found she was competent to stand trial. During Tuesday’s hearing, 4th Judicial District Judge Gregory Werner said a second evaluation by Dr. Jackie Grimmett, a psychologist retained by the defense, reached the same conclusion.