By Jeremy Harlan, CNN
A woman accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson after he was reported missing from his Colorado Springs home in 2020 has been found guilty of murder in the case.
Letecia Stauch, 39, sat motionless in court Monday as a judge read the jury’s verdict finding her guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of tampering with a deceased human body and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
Colorado District Judge Gregory Werner sentenced Stauch to life in prison with no possibility of parole for the murder convictions, in addition to shorter prison sentences for the two tampering charges.
Gannon Stauch was reported missing in January 2020 and his stepmother was arrested in March of that year. Just weeks after Stauch’s arrest, the boy’s body was found in a suitcase under a bridge near Pensacola, CNN affiliate KKTV reported.
During the five-week trial, prosecutors accused Stauch of stabbing Gannon 18 times and shooting him before dumping his body in Florida. Gannon’s father, according to prosecutors, was away on National Guard training when the child was killed.
Defense attorneys, in turn, argued that the stepmother suffered a “major psychotic crack” when she killed Gannon. She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges.
“I pray that we will never have to look at her face again,” said Landen Hiott, Gannon’s mother, during her statement to the court Monday. “Justice has been served today. … This won’t bring my son back, but I can sleep soundly.”
“Gannon, I never in my wildest dreams would have ever thought you’d be in danger,” Al Stauch, Gannon’s father, tearfully said during his speech to the court. “Or I would not have left you at home with what turned out to be your murderer and the last person to ever see you on this earth. I’m so sorry.”
Letecia Stauch declined to make a statement to the court during her sentencing.
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Claire Colbert contributed to this report.