COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The daughter of a former Horry County woman accused of killing her stepson in Colorado, putting his body in a suitcase and dumping it off a bridge in Florida says she never suspected his body was in the van they drove in together across the country.

“I’m still in shock. I defended her for years. I just feel manipulated and lied to,” Harley Hunt said Monday at the trial of her mother, Letecia Stauch, in Colorado Springs.

Hunt said it never crossed her mind that her mother was transporting the body of 11-year-old Gannon Stauch in their van after killing him, as prosecutors allege.

Hunt said she is still in shock and felt manipulated after defending her mother.

Letecia Stauch was arrested in Myrtle Beach in March 2020 and extradited to Colorado, where she is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges.

Stauch was employed by Horry County Schools from November 2010 until she resigned in June 2015, the district said. She began as a para-professional, a position she held until 2012. She then worked as a special education teacher until her resignation.

Earlier in the trial, Gannon’s father, Albert Stauch, answered questions about a series of phone calls he made to Letecia Stauch to try to find out what happened to his Gannon. With law enforcement listening in, he said he played along with accounts she offered to try to find out the truth.

She said she wanted immunity before talking. Prosecutors say Letecia Stauch stabbed Gannon 18 times and shot him.

Defense attorneys have argued that Letecia Stauch suffered a “major psychotic crack” as a result of childhood trauma when she killed Gannon. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity

Jury selection in the case began on March 20, and at the time, officials said the trial could last six to eight weeks.