Sloop defense may challenge death penalty

Monday , March 18, 2013 - 4:58 PM

FARMINGTON — The case against Nathanael Sloop is moving forward with a three-day preliminary hearing beginning on March 27.

Sloop is accused of killing four-year-old Ethan Stacy on May 9, 2010, in Layton.

Sloop, 34, of Layton, and his wife, Stephanie Sloop, the boy’s mother, 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 the boy’s death.

Ethan’s disfigured body was found May 11, 2010, near Powder Mountain after the Sloops reported him missing. He had come from Florida to spend the summer with his mother.

Nathan Sloop appeared before Judge Glen C. Dawson on Monday’ after attorneys met with Dawson in chambers.

Monday’s hearing was a chance for the defense to file any motions concerning evidence that may be presented during a three-day preliminary hearing set for March 27-28.

The hearings, which will all be in 2nd District Court in Farmington, are set to begin at 8:30 a.m. on March 27, at 12:30 p.m. on March 28 and again at 8:30 a.m. on March 29. Richard Mauro, defense attorney, said when the preliminary hearing is completed he plans to review the transcripts and “then make some decisions about what motions we will file.”

Mauro said there is a chance he may file motions concerning the constitutionality of the death penalty. Prosecutors filed in December their intent to seek the death penalty.

Mauro said it is still too early to say when a trial will be set.

“It’s hard to predict when that will happen,” Mauro said.Stephanie Sloop has a hearing scheduled for April 15.

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