Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Nathan Sloop
Crime • He is charged with aggravated murder in connection with the 2010 death of 4-year-old.
Published: December 7, 2012 09:37AM
Updated: April 8, 2013 11:32PM
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The body of Ethan Stacy, 4, was found in a Utah canyon. His mother, Stephanie Sloop, and stepfather, Nathan Sloop, are charged with aggravated murder in connection with the boy's death in 2010. (AP Photo/Layton Police Department)

The Davis County Attorney’s Office intends to seek the death penalty for Nathan Sloop.

The attorney’s office filed their notice of intent to seek the death penalty Thursday in 2nd District Court, where Sloop, 34, is accused of aggravated murder in connection with the 2010 death of his 4-year-old stepson, Ethan Stacy. Sloop’s wife, Stephanie Sloop, 29, is also charged with aggravated murder in Ethan’s death, though the attorney’s office has not filed the same intent in her case.

Charging documents allege the Layton couple engaged in multiple acts of “severe abuse” between April 29 and May 8 in 2010, which led to Ethan’s death, including “beatings, burning, drugging, isolating, malnourishing, leaving the child alone and unattended while suffering, and refusing to seek vital life-sustaining medical attention.”

Nathan Sloop pleaded not guilty to the charges in July. Prosecutors had until Dec. 14 to file their notice of intent to seek the death penalty after Sloop’s attorneys agreed to give prosecutors an extension to the 60-day deadline.

Nathan Sloop’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 11. Stephanie Sloop is scheduled to appear in court three days later.

According to the police probable cause statements, Stephanie Sloop said she knew Ethan needed medical attention after an initial May 5 disciplinary beating by Nathan Sloop, but that she was afraid Sloop would harm her, too, if she acted.

She told police that Ethan became “extremely ill,” would not eat and was given Benadryl to keep him quiet. She also told police that on May 7, Nathan Sloop told her Ethan had burned himself in the bathtub on his feet, legs and buttocks by turning up the hot water when Nathan Sloop left the bathroom.

The couple ­— who said they left the injured boy in a locked bedroom while they got married May 6 — reported Ethan missing to police on Mother’s Day, May 10, after discovering the boy was dead.

But after a 12-hour search, police say the couple confessed to burying the boy off a trail near Powder Mountain Ski Resort in Weber County.

Nathan Sloop, who led officers to the body on May 11, told police he used a hammer to disfigure the boy’s face and teeth in an effort to hinder his identification.

mmcfall@sltrib.com