FARMINGTON - Evidence which has been withheld from Stephanie Sloop’s attorney is needed before she can proceed with her client’s defense.
During a status hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 11, Stephanie Sloop cried as her attorney Mary Corporon said she will again file a motion asking the evidence be released to her.
She first filed the motion on Nov. 7, 2013.
That evidence was “seized from Nathanael Sloop, under circumstances which his counsel have asserted violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment and Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and under Article 1 of the Utah State Constitution,” the original motion stated.
Exculpatory evidence is that which may prove innocence or mitigate the culpability of a defendant.
On Tuesday, Stephanie Sloop entered the courtroom looking pale. She began crying shortly after the hearing began and her voice sounded shaky as she answered 2nd District Judge Glen Dawson’s questions.
An evidentiary hearing will have to be held to determine if Corporon will receive the evidence.
The exculpatory evidence is in the hands of prosecutors, but Nathanael Sloop’s defense team have objected to the evidence being handed over to Corporon.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings agreed that Corporon needs the evidence.
“The competition here is between Mr. and Mrs. Sloop," he told Dawson.
Stephanie and Nathanael Sloop were both charged with capital murder in the death of Stephanie’s 4-year-old son Ethan Stacy in May of 2010.
The case against Nathanael Sloop wrapped up on Tuesday, Feb. 4, with his plea of guilty but mentally ill, and a sentence of 25-years-to-life in the death of his stepson 4-year-old Ethan Stacy in May of 2010.
Stephanie Sloop’s case has lagged behind Nathanael’s. She has yet to enter her plea of guilty or not guilty and no trial date has been set.
At this point, no plea deal has been offered and it is not known if she will receive such a deal or face trial in her son’s death.
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, and others believing she was controlled by Nathanael Sloop and was in fear of his actions had she stood up for the boy.
Ethan died just days after arriving in Utah from Virginia to spend the summer with his biological mother and Nathanael Sloop, who was Stephanie’s fiancé at the time.
During the time Ethan spent with the pair, prosecutors said he was scalded, beaten and overmedicated and that medical care was withheld.
Investigators say the Sloops left Ethan locked in a bedroom while they slipped away to get married on May 6.
Nathaneal Sloop’s lawyers have contended Ethan died from dehydration caused by overmedication.
Nathan and Stephanie contacted police on the morning of May 11, suggesting that Ethan had wandered off, prompting a search of the surrounding area.
After repeated questioning, police say the Sloops confessed that Ethan had died, and led investigators to a shallow grave near Powder Mountain.