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‘Psychotic crack’ to blame for 11-year-old stepson’s savage murder and body disposal, woman’s defense claims

'Psychotic crack' to blame for 11-year-old stepson's savage murder and body disposal, woman's defense claims
The US Sun

An attorney for a Colorado woman accused of stabbing her 11-year-old stepson 18 times before shooting him in the head and dumping his body in Florida while claiming the boy was missing cited a “major psychotic crack” as the reason she changed her plea to not guilty by reason of insanity on Monday.

Letecia Stauch is suspected of murdering 11-year-old Gannon Stauch in his bedroom just hours before reporting him missing on January 27, 2020, while his father served in the National Guard. According to her arrest statement, she was dissatisfied with her marriage and angry about being handled like an unpaid babysitter.

A prosecutor told jurors at the opening of Letecia Stauch’s hearing on Monday that she knew “she could determine right and wrong.” “Gannon suffered 18 stab wounds to his body, his chest, his back, his head, and most importantly, his arms and his hands.

Why is that important? He was fighting for his life. And those were defensive wounds,” District Attorney Michael Allen said, according to Daily Mail.

“She carried out actions to kill and put his body in a suitcase and hide it to hide evidence of what she did, to give numerous stories to investigators, to manipulate the course of the investigation, and finally to discard Gannon inside that suitcase, off a Florida bridge like garbage.”

Defense attorney Will Cook told the jurors of 11 men and seven women on Monday that Stauch had a “major psychotic crack” as a consequence of abuse as a child. Cook claimed she was mistreated physically, mentally, and sexually by her mother’s partners when she was 3 or 4 years old, according to WEAR-TV.

“She witnessed her mother get abused until eventually the abuse her mother endured was transferred onto her,” Cook said. “It started as physical beatings and turned into sexual assault later.” The attorney claimed she slipped into a “dissociative” state and “broke,” believing she “was killing the demons in her life, in the dark depths of her childhood.”

Stauch reportedly repeatedly stabbed the child before grabbing a handgun and firing three times at Gannon, striking him once in the head, prosecutors said Monday, according to WINK News. “She gathered his bloody and broken body and stuffed him into a suitcase and stored his body in the basement storage room,” Allen said.

According to the district attorney, Stauch then removed the suitcase holding her stepson’s corpse, put it into a rented vehicle, and drove it to her hometown in South Carolina. Allen claims Stauch tossed the suitcase off a bridge in the Florida Panhandle, where a bridge worker found the corpse six weeks later.

Authorities initially stated that they reacted after Stauch reported that Gannon had not returned from playing with a companion. She did not, however, provide the identities of any companions he may have had or their parents. Within days, she devised a variety of stories to mislead them, including that a man she employed to fix a carpet raped her and then abducted Gannon.

As officials probed, more than 200 volunteers searched for the child in the area where the family resided near Colorado Springs. Searchers found a piece of particle board with Gannon’s blood on it in a rural region nearby about two weeks after he went missing.

Authorities arrested Stauch in Myrtle Beach on March 2, 2022, assuming the kid died. Gannon’s body was found later that month in the tiny town of Pace in northern Florida.

Allen said in his opening statement that the boy, who was delivered prematurely, “proved to be a fighter,” causing his mother, Landon Hiott, to flee the courtroom overcome with emotion. Stauch was accused of first-degree murder, tampering with a dead human body, and physical evidence tampering.

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