A judge postponed a hearing for Letecia Stauch on Friday, giving her more time to review a massive amount of evidence in preparation to represent herself at trial in the killing of her 11-year-old stepson.
Stauch, 37, expressed concerns over her ability to review the report, explaining that she is only allowed two hours a week in the jail library.
“So, I’m not sure how I am supposed to review it all in two hours, once a week,” Stauch told Fourth Judicial District Judge Gregory Werner.
“Well part of the issue here is that you’ve elected to represent yourself,” Werner said. “We’ve talked about the burdens.”
Werner appointed veteran Colorado Springs attorney Josh Tolini as her advisory counsel, who Werner said “satisfies the issue.”
Tolini said he delivered about 1,400 pages to Stauch this week, but Stauch told the judge that she hasn't reviewed the documents since jail staff confiscated them.
The judge ordered that a new copy, which redacts personal information of witnesses involved in the case, be provided to Stauch to review.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said his office is in the process of redacting those documents and putting them on a digital drive that will also include photos, digital reports and other evidence.
Tolini argued Stauch should receive the report in paper format so that she is able to review them in her cell.
“I fail to see why it can’t be printed off on paper so she can have access to it in her cell in order to prepare for this as opposed to just going and looking at it two hours a week digitally at the law library. I think that is a tremendous disadvantage,” Tolini said.
Allen cited security concerns.
“She has exhibited being a flight risk. She has solicited people from inside the jail to use common items that are found in the jail to try and break windows and I assume they are concerned about those issues, the security concerns,” Allen said.
Werner ordered that Stauch be provided a hard copy of the approximately 1,400 pages of “core information,” explaining that he hasn’t heard of anything that would prohibit her from receiving a paper report in her cell.
Last week, the judge granted Stauch's request to represent herself, asserting that she had “knowingly” maintained her right to fire her public defenders and represent herself in trial.
She brushed off the judge’s concerns that she would fail to effectively present her case, citing 30,000 pages of discovery documents. She referenced two pieces of evidence that she said would prove her innocence, calling it “an ace in the hole.”
On Friday, the judge said it was “prudent” to keep her advisory counsel “in the loop” so he can provide advice on how to proceed. If she wants to address an issue with the judge, Werner suggested Stauch contact Tolini before doing so before filing, though she isn't required to do so.
As advisory counsel, Tolini can give legal advice to Stauch but he will not appear on the record in front of a jury nor does he have decision-making authority in the case.
Stauch is charged with first-degree murder and other counts on allegations that she killed Gannon inside their Lorson Ranch home last January before dumping his body in a rural area near Highway 105 and South Perry Park Road in Douglas County.
Her next hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 20.
Allen said there are about 1,800 pages of core information and 26,101 pages of evidence. He said there would be fewer than 20 witnesses for the preliminary hearing and estimated that hearing would take two days.
According to an El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, Stauch is in the process of being scheduled to receive access to the jail's library. Once approved, she will be scheduled twice a week, two hours per session.