FARMINGTON -- The man accused of killing of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy will not be in court until July.
A felony arraignment hearing for Nathan Sloop, 33, of Layton, scheduled for Tuesday, was continued until July 10. Sloop and his wife, Stephanie Sloop, are 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 in connection with the death of the boy.
The court docket also shows that a five-day preliminary hearing for Nathan Sloop is scheduled to run from July 30 to Aug. 3.
Normally, preliminary hearings are scheduled before a felony arraignment hearing is set.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said the preliminary hearing has been set after the felony arraignment is because "the state wants to expedite the case forward and it is unlikely to be resolved at the arraignment hearing. We wanted a firm preliminary hearing date so all parties will be ready to go."
According to the court website, several sealed motions were filed by Nathan Sloop's attorneys within the last two months.
Rawlings said the state has been ready to go forward with a preliminary hearing for "at least the last 18 months. However, based upon the nature of the facts, the legal issues and the potential penalty being death, we can understand why the defense does not want to move forward until they are fully prepared."
Rawlings said every effort is being made to avoid legitimate appeal issues. If Nathan Sloop is convicted of aggravated murder charge and is sentenced to either death or life without parole, by law, the case automatically goes to the appellate court for review.
Rawlings also said that once Nathan Sloop's case makes it past the felony arraignment, he believes it will go to trial and the time period will be "relatively short because all of the issues will be dealt with up front."
Those issues include mitigating factors, evidence issues and other legal issues that could be vetted.
According to the court website, no court hearings have been set for Stephanie Sloop. At the last court hearing in March, her attorney, Mary Corporon, said her client's case will follow Nathan Sloop's hearings.
Ethan, the son of Stephanie Sloop, came to Utah on May 1, 2010, to spend the summer with the Sloops. His body was found buried near Powder Mountain on May 11, 2010.
The Sloops are accused of abusing Ethan for days in their Layton apartment before he died on May 9, 2010.
Both Sloops being held in the Davis County Jail without bail and both could receive the death penalty if they are convicted of the aggravated murder charge.