Next up is a decision on what to do about the boy’s mother, Stephanie Sloop, who is also charged with aggravated murder, second-degree felony child abuse, second-degree obstruction of justice and third-degree felony abuse or desecration of a body.
Stephanie Sloop will be in 2nd District Court in Farmington on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. for a status hearing.
It is not known if she too will be offered a plea deal or will wind up going to trial.
Speculation has gone both ways, with some believing the Davis County Attorney will not offer a plea deal, since she was the mother and therefore bore the brunt of the responsibility for protecting her son, while others believe she was controlled by Nathanael Sloop and was in fear of his actions had she stood up for the boy.
A motion filed by Stephanie Sloop’s attorney Mary Corporon on Nov. 7, 2013, says there may be evidence that could be used in Stephanie Sloop’s defense. That evidence was “seized from Nathanael Sloop, under circumstances which his counsel have asserted violate his rights under the Fourth Amendment and Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and under Article 1 of the Utah State Constitution.”
The motion also indicated that as Nov. 7, she had not received that evidence from the Davis County Attorney’s Office, “...because the Davis County Attorney is apparently in a conflict of constitutional requirements between the defendant, Stephanie Sloop, and a defendant in a related case, Nathanael Sloop.”
That evidence may play a role in the outcome of Stephanie Sloop’s case.
Ethan died just days after arriving in Utah from Virginia to spend the summer with biological mother and Nathanael Sloop, who was the Stephanie’s fiance at the time. The couple were married on May 6.
During the time Ethan spent with the pair, prosecutors said he was scalded, beaten and over-medicated and that health care was withheld.
Nathanael Sloop’s lawyers have contended Ethan died from dehydration caused by over-medication.
His body was found near Powder Mountain on May 11, 2010.
A coroner's report claims Ethan's body had been mutilated, perhaps to conceal his identity. Prosecutors allege Stephanie took part in hiding and disfiguring Ethan's body.