Nathanael Sloop's attorney may challenge death penalty constitutionality

Mar 19 2013 - 12:29am

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Nathanael Sloop is led into the courtroom of Judge Glen Dawson in Farmington for an evidentiary hearing on Monday. The judge has cleared the way for three days of hearings next week for Sloop, who is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Nathanael Sloop sits next to his defense attorney Scott Williams in the courtroom of Judge Glen Dawson in Farmington for an evidentiary hearing on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Judge Glen Dawson presides over the evidentiary hearing for Nathanael Sloop in 2nd District Court as he speaks with lawyers for the prosecution and defense at an evidentiary hearing on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Judge Glen Dawson presides over the evidentiary hearing for Nathanael Sloop in 2nd District Court in Farmington on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Nathanael Sloop sits next to his defense attorney Scott Williams in the courtroom of Judge Glen Dawson in Farmington for an evidentiary hearing on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Nathanael Sloop is led into the courtroom of Judge Glen Dawson in Farmington for an evidentiary hearing on Monday. The judge has cleared the way for three days of hearings next week for Sloop, who is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Nathanael Sloop sits next to his defense attorney Scott Williams in the courtroom of Judge Glen Dawson in Farmington for an evidentiary hearing on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Judge Glen Dawson presides over the evidentiary hearing for Nathanael Sloop in 2nd District Court as he speaks with lawyers for the prosecution and defense at an evidentiary hearing on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Judge Glen Dawson presides over the evidentiary hearing for Nathanael Sloop in 2nd District Court in Farmington on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)
Nathanael Sloop sits next to his defense attorney Scott Williams in the courtroom of Judge Glen Dawson in Farmington for an evidentiary hearing on Monday. Sloop is accused of beating his 4-year-old stepson to death. (Paul Fraughton/The Associated Press)

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

Sloop is accused of killing 4-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.

Nathanel 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 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 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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