FARMINGTON — Preliminary hearing dates have been set for the couple accused of killing 4-year-old Ethan Stacy.
Nathanael and Stephanie Sloop, of Layton, the boy’s stepfather and mother, are charged with aggravated murder.
The preliminary hearing for Nathanael Sloop, 32, is set for Nov. 1-3. The hearing for Stephanie Sloop, 28, is set for Nov. 15-17.
They both face the possibility of the death sentence if convicted.
Ethan came to Utah on May 1, 2010, to spend the summer with his mother. His disfigured body was found May 11, 2010, buried near Powder Mountain, after Stephanie Sloop reported him missing from the Sloops’ apartment.
A scheduling conference hearing was held Monday in 2nd District Court before Judge Michael G. Allphin. Nathanael Sloop was not required to be in court and decided to stay in Davis County Jail during the hearing.
Before the hearing, Allphin met in chambers for about 30 minutes with Deputy Davis County Attorney David Cole; Richard Mauro, Nathanael Sloop’s attorney; and Mary Corporon, Stephanie Sloop’s attorney.
Allphin said the meeting in chambers was to help decide on appropriate dates for the preliminary hearings.
Judge Glen C. Dawson is scheduled to hear oral arguments on pending motions June 3 and evidentiary issues concerning each case in July.
Corporon filed a memorandum May 11 to oppose prosecutors’ request for documents and information she says could self-
incriminate Stephanie Sloop and violate her right to counsel and due process guaranteed by the Constitution.
According to the court document, Corporon asserts that Stephanie Sloop can by court rule give her notice of intent “to claim a defense of insanity or diminished mental capacity not less than 30 days before trial.”
Also, prosecutors may be entitled to disclosure of documents and exhibits that may be used at the trial by the defense, but are not entitled to “all documents a witness may use at trial and those used in preparation for trial,” according to Corporon’s memorandum.
Corporon also said in her filing that prosecutors are not entitled to all documents that may be used by the defense because it “would chill the communication between defendant and counsel,” which would hamper how defense attorneys would investigate the charges, as well as issues regarding mitigation and sentencing, and “defense counsel’s entire preparation for trial.”
No action was taken on the memorandum during Monday’s hearing.
Nathanael Sloop is also charged with second-degree felony inflicting serious physical injury on a child intentionally, second-degree felony obstructing justice, third-degree felony desecration of a dead human body and third-degree felony damage to jails.
Stephanie Sloop is also charged with second-degree felony inflicting serious physical injury on a child intentionally, second-degree felony obstructing justice and third-degree felony desecration of a dead human body.