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FARMINGTON — A man facing the potential of the death penalty in the killing of his 4-year-old stepson has asked for a hearing on the evidence against him.
A preliminary hearing was set for March 27-29 in the case against Nathanael Warren Sloop, 34, in 2nd District Court. In addition to charges of capital murder, Sloop is also charged with obstructing justice and intentionally inflicting serious injury on a child, both second-degree felonies; and desecration of a dead body, a third-degree felony, in the death of Ethan Stacy.
The boy's mother, Stephanie Sloop, 29, is facing the same charges in connection with the boy's death, but prosecutors have not stated whether or not they will seek the death penalty in her case. Her next court appearance is Friday.
The couple is accused of abusing Ethan Stacy, Stephanie's biological son, killing him less than two weeks after he arrived from Virginia to stay with them for the summer. Police say they disfigured his body and buried it near Powder Mountain in Weber County. The discovery came after a large search, because the Sloops initially told police that Ethan was missing.
Investigators put pressure on the Sloops due to inconsistencies in their stories and his body was located. Nathan Sloop allegedly attempted to disfigure Ethan's face with a hammer so he couldn't be identified, according to police reports. There was also dog food sprinkled on the boy's grave.