FARMINGTON -- Prosecutors may have evidence that could prove the innocence of Stephanie Sloop, her attorney said.
Stephanie Sloop, 28, and her husband, Nathanael Warren Sloop, 32, are each charged with aggravated murder, second-degree felony child abuse, second-degree felony obstruction of justice and third-degree felony abuse or desecration of a body. The charges stem from the death of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy, Stephanie Sloop's son, on May 9, 2010. The murder charge carries a possible death sentence, if either Sloop is convicted. Prosecutors have 60 days following a felony arraignment hearing to file their intent to seek the death penalty.
Investigators found the young boy's disfigured body buried near Powder Mountain on May 10, 2010.
The Layton couple appeared separately in 2nd District Court on Tuesday before Judge Glen C. Dawson, asking the judge to cancel dates set for preliminary hearings.
Mary C. Corporon, Stephanie Sloop's attorney, filed a motion on Oct. 19, asking the judge to order prosecutors to hand over evidence that may be "exculpatory" for Stephanie Sloop. She also filed a motion to have a preliminary hearing set for Nov. 15 through Nov. 17 to be continued to another date.
Corporon said during Tuesday's hearing that prosecutors have given her 16,480 documents and 412 disks, which have recordings and/or photographs to examine. But in the last several weeks, new evidence has come forward, which she has not had time to review.
According to court documents, prosecutors have "received material in search of the cell of Mr. Nathanael Sloop, which is or may be exculpatory" of Stephanie Sloop.
Also, the Layton Police Department has physical evidence which Corporon wants to examine, but no agreement has been reached between the police department and Corporon on how that will be done.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said he likes the new evidence.
"We like it and we want to use it," Rawlings said.
Rawlings said some of the new evidence came about due to advances in technology.
"We looked at it a year ago, and it's always been available," Rawlings said.
What that evidence is, Rawlings could not comment because of court rules.
"We are ready, willing and able to do the preliminary hearings today," Rawlings said. "We're ready to roll."
But it in the best interest of the victims and the public to allow the defense attorneys time to review all the evidence so the case against the Sloops cannot be appealed, if they are convicted, he said.
Rawlings said the Sloops are presumed innocent until a court finds them guilty of any of the charges.
A five-day preliminary hearing for Nathan Sloop that was supposed to start on Oct. 31, but has been changed to March 19, 2012 through March 23, 2012. A preliminary hearing is when the judge hears evidence from prosecutors and decides if the case should move forward.
The preliminary hearing dates of Nov. 15 through Nov. 17 for Stephanie Sloop were also canceled. No new dates have been set.
Anissa Martinez and Lucinda Martin both attended Tuesday's hearings. They came, they said, to support Ethan and his family in Virginia, who cannot attend.
They said they would like to see the case move forward, but understand why prosecutors want to wait.
"We'd rather have the delays than have mistakes," Martinez said.