FARMINGTON -- Trial dates have been set for Nathanael Sloop, who is charged with the death of his 4-year-old stepson, Ethan Stacy.
Before the dates were set, Sloop entered not-guilty pleas to the capital murder charge and other charges in connection with the death of the boy.
Sloop appeared before Judge Glen Dawson in 2nd District Court on Tuesday wearing his jail blue-and-white uniform and carrying a plastic bag filled with documents.
When asked what his pleas were, Sloop said clearly and distinctly, "Not guilty."
Jury selection is set for March 13-14, with the trial set to run March 17-28. The penalty phase of the trial is set for April 2-4, if it is needed.
Dawson set Oct. 7 as the date for all motions to be filed.
Oct. 15 was set as a pretrial conference to review the motions and decide when to schedule hearings for oral arguments.
Nathanael 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.
Officials say Ethan Stacy, son of Stephanie Sloop, died May 8, 2010. His disfigured body was found near Powder Mountain on May 11, 2010, after the Sloops called police to report him missing from their apartment.
A four-day preliminary hearing is set for Stephanie Sloop in December.
Dawson ruled in July that Nathanael Sloop will go forward on all the charges. He did agree with prosecutors that this is not the time to argue the constitutionality of Shelby's Law.
This is the first time defense attorneys have challenged the law that went into effect in 2007. The law is named after 10-year-old Shelby Andrews, of Syracuse, who was found dead in her home. Her father and stepmother admitted to beating her, forcing her to eat her own feces and locking her in a linen closet as a form of punishment.
Ryan and Angela Andrews entered guilty pleas to first-degree felony murder charges and were each sentenced to serve 15 years to life in Utah State Prison.
Prosecutors could not file capital murder charges against the couple, because they could not prove the two had intentionally killed the young girl in August 2006.
Sloop's attorney, Richard Mauro, said after court that Nathanael Sloop had not intended to kill Ethan.
"He did not set out to intentionally kill by using over-the-counter medication," Mauro said.
He said the death penalty has been reserved throughout the country for those who intended to kill another person.