Notice to seek death penalty filed in Ethan Stacy murder case

Nathaniel Sloop appears in Judge Glen R. Dawson's courtroom with his attorney Richard Mauro at 2nd District Court in Farmington Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Sloop waived his right to a preliminary hearing. (Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner)

Nathaniel Sloop appears in Judge Glen R. Dawson's courtroom with his attorney Richard Mauro at 2nd District Court in Farmington Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Sloop waived his right to a preliminary hearing. (Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner)

FARMINGTON, Utah – Davis County prosecutors filed notice they intend to seek the death penalty against Nathan Sloop in the murder of Ethan Stacy.

The notice was filed late Thursday in Farmington’s 2nd District Court. The move gives prosecutors the option to pursue a capital punishment if Sloop is convicted of aggravated murder in the child abuse death of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy.

The move is a potential sign that any plea deal discussions taking place between Sloop’s defense attorneys and prosecutors have broken down. Sloop’s attorneys have previously told FOX 13 they were in talks to resolve the case short of trial.

A check of court records late Thursday showed that a notice of intent to seek the death penalty was not filed in Stephanie Sloop’s case. Nathan Sloop is due back in court for a pre-trial conference on Dec. 11.

The couple is charged with aggravated murder in the 2010 child abuse death of her son, Ethan Stacy. Prosecutors have called it a “horrific” case of child abuse, detailing the beatings, drugging, malnourishment and refusal to seek medical attention for the toddler.

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