Stephanie Sloop takes plea deal in Ethan Stacy murder

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FARMINGTON -- A woman charged in the death of her 4-year-old son has struck a plea deal with prosecutors.

Stephanie Sloop pleaded guilty on Monday to aggravated murder and obstruction of justice in the murder of Ethan Stacy. In exchange, prosecutors removed the possibility and the death penalty and dropped charges of child abuse and desecration of a body.

"My selfish behavior is the reason I am standing here today pleading guilty to these charges," Sloop sobbed as she addressed the judge.

"The fact is, I am entirely responsible because I am his mommy! I failed to take care of him properly because I couldn't even take care of myself. My selfishness and failures as a parent cost 'pumpkin's' death, and there's no changing the fact that I am the one responsible."

Read Stephanie Sloop's statement to the court here:

She was sentenced by 2nd District Court Judge Thomas Kay to serve 20-to-life in prison for murder, and 1-to-15 for obstruction of justice. The judge gave her credit for time served, which is about four years.

Sloop pleaded guilty at the start of what was to be a three-day preliminary hearing.

Read Stephanie Sloop's plea of guilty here:

Ethan was sent to live with his mother and stepfather in Layton in 2010. Prosecutors said the boy was beaten, burned and drugged -- so much so that he died. His body was disfigured and buried in a shallow grave near Powder Mountain.

During the plea deal, Sloop's defense lawyer, Mary Corporon, said Stephanie suffered from "battered spouse syndrome," and was fearful of getting any help. She also said Stephanie Sloop had a prescription painkiller problem.

"This has been a tragic case all around and this is a fitting outcome to something that's hurt a great many people," Corporon told FOX 13 outside of court.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said he believed Stephanie and Nathan Sloop would die in prison. Nathan Sloop previously pleaded guilty to aggravated murder.

Rawlings told FOX 13 he believed it would be difficult to obtain a conviction under Shelby's Law, which allows for the death penalty to be sought in cases of abuse where a child dies. Questions were raised about whether the law would stand up under an appeal. Rawlings said with both Nathan and Stephanie Sloop's plea deals, they will not have to run the risk.

"It's not a certain result when you attempt to apply a certain mes rea -- a reckless indifference of human life -- to a death penalty case," he said.

The plea deal had the blessing of her ex-husband (Ethan's father), Joe Stacy, who was in court but did not speak.

51 comments

  • Bob

    They took a hammer to the little boy’s face in an attempt to conceal his identity before burying him in a shallow grave. Hard to comprehend a mother doing that to her child.

  • dorian harris

    How could yall make a deal with someone who didnt try nd proctect her child….y shouldn’t she get the same as her son got….u making deals with the devil….ur job is to get justice for that child….you failed if ur not goin to do the job u was elected to do then they need to get someone to do it.

    • Bob

      Nearly every defendant is offered a plea deal Dorian. It’s up to the prosecutor to decide what he (she) is willing to offer and it’s to the defendant to accept or reject the plea. It saves the time and money to hold a trial.

      Most criminal cases are resolved in this manner. Didn’t you know that?

      • Missi

        Not everyone is well versed in the law, Bob. Don’t be an a**. You are correct in your comment regarding plea deals, however most people handle decisions like these with emotion and compassion-not cold logic. These people abused, killed, disfigured, then buried this child in hopes no one would ever find him. They deserve a spot in the hottest part of hell.

      • bob

        Explain the circumstances in which murdering a little boy, mutilating his body, and then hiding the corpse is “okay”, Kathy.

        I’ll wait.

      • layton#1

        Just heard about her sentence. Another p.o.s. using drugs as an excuse. Typical. This has to be that crazy woman who wants media attention. Tne buddy of the 2 convicted. She just wants to be noticed people. Whether it’s good or bad attention, she doesn’t care. Been kicked off the pages bc she supports these 2. I’ve read on this story from the start and she’s trolled the stories non stop. No better than the two of them. Got shouldn’t even be a part of this. Let them sit in prison until they waste away. She wasn’t sorry until she lost her freedom. I have a grandson his age and couldn’t imagine how it affected his family. Get a life and find another murderer to be friends with.

    • Kathy

      Man…you people who don’t understand how the Judicial System works shouldn’t even be allowed to comment here. I’m not even going to BOTHER to explain yet AGAIN WHY there was a plea deal. Go educate yourself before spouting off about how the Prosecution didn’t do their job. Quit blaming the Prosecution…don’t you think if Mr. Rawlings thought this was “air tight” he WOULD have gone all the way? HE WON for Ethan and his family. She cannot appeal this decision. She has sealed her fate and it is done. Give your county Attorney a little more credit for knowing what they are doing instead of insisting YOU know better and they failed you or society or Ethan or his family….he did not.

  • Trish Ramirez

    I am actually bawling right now.

    The State of Utah has desecrated this child again and again.

    What an absolute travesty – these people, these ADMITTED torturers and murderers should have fried. This is NOT justice.

    How disgusting.

    Put her in general population and let the inmates deal with her.

    It’s no wonder that people who cook their children to death aren’t even charged in Utah, if the State can’t even be bothered to properly prosecute the people who blatantly torture and kill their little ones.

    This is a devastating decision for so many people, what a horrible day for justice.

    • Bob

      The State of Utah had nothing to do with this plea deal Trish. Each county has a prosecutor that determines what kind of plea deal he (or she) will accept. You should know that, and I’m surprised that you didn’t.

      • Trish Ramirez

        They are agents of the State of Utah just the same, Bob. They are elected officials that are supposed to be doing the work of the people. They cannot prosecute in the name of the State and be divorced of any connection, that’s absolutely ridiculous.

        They work for a paycheck that comes from the State. They are supposed to be advocates of the will of the citizens of this state, as well as uphold the law and see to it that justice is applied appropriately.

        They failed in this instance, and with a case this high-profile you know that there has been intervention and recommendations coming from ALL corners. It’s a travesty, so please do yourself a favor and don’t try to protect a State that has millions of dollars and all the time in the world to fight against g a y marriage yet not the time nor inclination to see a child murderer properly tried and sentenced. Your splitting of hairs and little semantics games have no place in this discussion.

      • AnotherBob

        If youy think Satl Lake County Prosecutor Sim Gill is going to take his marching orders from the State of Utah on how to prosecute any crime in his county you’re dead wrong. Come on Trish, you’re smarter than that.

      • bob

        Wait…..write this down, because it’s never happened before I WAS WRONG. Sim Gill isn’t the prosecutor. This case is in Davis County. My bad.

        Sim Gill is still a hardcore liberal who won’t prosecute ANYBODY except white Republicans.

      • AnotherBob

        I only used the example of Sim Gill because Trish is aware of who he is. Obviouly the event occured in Davis County. The point is that the State of Utah has nothing to do with county prosectors and how they chose to deal with specific crimes. The Davis County Attorney is Troy Rawlings.

      • Kathy

        BOB
        Explain the circumstances in which murdering a little boy, mutilating his body, and then hiding the corpse is “okay”, Kathy.

        I’ll wait.

        In response to this question. There are NEVER any circumstances in which “murdering” a child and hiding the corpse is okay. I don’t know what part of this you people are having a hard time understanding. I do not condone their behavior, they BOTH know this. First I will say, he was not tortured or intentionally murdered…secondly, I will say that what took place after the fact, was complete lunacy and was NOT contested by the defense of Nathan Sloop nor by Nathan. STILL, this does not negate the fact that despite what happened, these are two living breathing human beings who, at their core and in their right minds, would NOT have done this. I’m sure we agree on this point. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Why did they agree to these pleas??? Who knows, I would not have agreed to these plea deals given the facts of the case. But….they did and everyone should be pretty happy about that fact. What happened was an accident coupled with VERY BAD JUDGEMENT AND SELFISHNESS on their part, nothing more, nothing less. Please review the facts of Nathans Preliminary hearing. There was NO evidence of bruising to Ethan PRIOR to his death. Everything that was done to his face was done after he passed. The swelling of Ethans face was from an allergic reaction, and was proven when the medical examiner said there was no evidence of bruising prior to his death. That kind of swelling, if caused by being punched and hit in the head and face, would have left detectable bruising. So, this would naturally lead one to believe that Ethan was NOT beaten as was claimed by the media and prosecution. Ethan was spanked for behavior that was deemed unacceptable as a lot of parents spank their child when they do something inappropriate in order to teach them. I personally do not believe in spanking children and never spanked my children…but some parents do spank their children. Ethan was scolded in the bathtub unintentionally and was pulled immediately from the tub. The dehydration from the weeping of the burns along with the medication they were giving him to try to treat him at home…(big mistake) is what ultimately took his life. Yes, they gave him fluids, yes they tried to get him to eat, he was not holding anything down and wasn’t eating well even before he was scolded in the tub. I am willing to bet his father had a hard time getting him to eat as well. They never set out to intentionally kill him, he was exhibiting some out of control behavior and they sought to correct the behavior. There is so much more that I don’t feel comfortable revealing here because….well, I just don’t. I love Ethan with all my heart and I do not wish to reveal any more. Things are not always as they appear, in fact, most of the time they are a far cry from what they appear to be, especially when you have media spinning everything to suit their audience.

    • Kathy

      Trish, they did NOT admit to any such thing! The STATE and MEDIA put out there that they tortured him and it’s simply NOT the case! Ignore the facts, that’s up to you. I think she got too much time and I would have gone to the box on this one and I am sad her Attorney talked her into agreeing to this deal!

      • Kathy

        Also Trish….did you NOT hear Troy? He said if it went to trial, it would have gone on and on with appeals and constitutionality issues. He’s a STATE PROSECUTOR, not GOD…he has to do what he thinks is RIGHT for everyone involved. Or would you have rather her go to trial, drag this out for another year or more and possibly see her walk in 10 years? Have the family go through all of that just so YOU feel better? Hm…

      • AnotherBob

        If Stephanie Sloop thought there was a chance she could have gotten out in 10 years she would have taken it. There is no place in decent society for people like this mother, and I use the word loosly honey.

  • Kathy

    That’s because SHE didn’t take a hammer to his face, her husband did. As hard as this case has been, I am glad it’s over. Know the facts.

    • AnotherBob

      Kathy – Stephanie Sloop helped her husband bury her son, Ethan, in a shallow grave after Nathan Sloop finished up with the hammer. Give it a rest honey.

      • Kathy

        No one is a worth less meatsack Bob. How awful of you to say such a thing. YOU TOO, shall be held accountable for your words, thoughts and deeds….good luck with that Mr. I’m so justified in my feelings that NOTHING can touch me…we will see how that pans out for you. Peace be upon you

  • Kathy

    Yes, she will go to population, where she already has friends and support. They actually treat you better down at the point then they do at DCJ. She is happy to be leaving that hole and I think she will do just find in population as she’s been in population at DCJ for the last 6 months or so. SMH!

    • AnotherBob

      Mommy got 20 to life for the aggravated murder of her son Kathy. The Utah Board of Appeals will decide how much longer she’ll serve after that. You really wouldn’t want a cold blooded monster like Stephanie out of prison while her uterus is still functional would you?

    • bob

      How do you know how wonderfully they treat you “down at The Point”, Katy? Personal experience?

      Trailer park trash.

      • Kathy

        Resorting to name calling Bob….I probably should have expected that. I know about the prison because I have inquired about the prison. I have also spoken with Nathan Sloop about the conditions he lives in and they are better then DCJ and he is in MAX! If you think your opinion of me means anything, you would be wrong. If I cared, I would not have taken the time to listen to both of them and hear what they had to say and subject myself to public ridicule by standing by them. Not condoning what happened but standing behind the human being…something I’m sure, you know nothing about. I feel NO remorse for giving love, compassion and understanding to two people who could not seem to get those BASIC things from anyone else because they “all” thought they knew what actually went on and hated them instantly. I’d say shame on you all but I think it would be a waste of time as none of you have the capacity to try to understand EVERYTHING, not just what the media says. If I were her, I would have went to the box and fought this but she did not when she had EVERY right to do so. She wanted to end this for everyone involved and own up to her part in all of this and that is what she did. Call my trailer park trash or crazy or whatever adjective you prefer. I stand rock solid in my belief that what I have done for them was the RIGHT and GODLY thing to do. You will stand before God as well. I hope he shows you more mercy then you’ve been able to muster up for these two.

  • Trish Ramirez

    Kathy, when she plead guilty to the aggravated murder of her 4 year old child, she became and admitted murderer. While the State many have lost the ability to take her life for her horrible crimes, she’s lost protection of the word ‘alleged.’

    She has lost the right to dispute the State’s case against her and has legally admitted that they were correct, all in an attempt to save her worthless neck.

    She is an ADMITTED murderer – of her own small son.

    Anyone that can publicly defend that kind of monstrosity – who can state with such a disgusting mixture of ignorance and assurance that they have been given TOO HARSH a sentence, as though such a thing can possibly exist given the circumstances of this case – certainly belongs right along side her at the Point, because clearly your mind is skewed to the point that you pose a threat to those around you – particularly children if you advocate for the people who admit to brutalizing them.

    This woman married the man she later said brutalized her child while said child was dying in a bathroom.

    Don’t think that because some time has passed people have forgotten the details – some things can never be unknown.

    I hope his little broken face haunts her every night of her miserable life, and you as well.

    • Suzanne

      Well said Trish. Too harsh a sentence Kathy?!!! Are you serious? Personally I would like to see both of them die in the same horrific manner that little boy did. There is no punishment severe enough for those two evil monsters.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Thanks, Suzanne. If I’m not mistaken – and I am fairly certain I’m not – ‘Kathy’ is one Katherine M. who has been advocating for this putrid excuse for humanity for quite some time now. She’s bought into the whole ‘battered woman’ garbage, made excuse after excuse for Stephanie all over the place for years now and is almost as revolting as Stephanie herself. If she’s the person I believe her to be, she has spent time visiting and writing that low-life and always has an excuse for her many and varied points of involvement in Ethan’s death. Gross.

    • Kathy

      She plead guilty to end this for everyone. I am fairly confident, had she gone to trial, at least ONE juror would have found reasonable doubt and that is all she would have needed…just one. She didn’t do it to save her life, her attorney would have APPEALED such a sentence on the grounds that the death penalty only applies to those who murder with INTENT and in a higher court she probably would have won that battle. Troy spoke of this in court. As for my capacity to see the human being in EVERYONE, I know in my heart, that does not make me a monster, it actually makes me MORE EVOLVED then most of you who have no capacity for compassion or forgiveness. You can talk all day long about how you’re justified in your feelings and how because I have the capacity to FORGIVE makes me somehow a bad person. I will leave you all to your misery and your half baked opinions about myself and Stephanie, it matters not. I actually feel sort of sad that humanity has become so self righteous and unforgiving. To assume I would hurt a child because my heart has the capacity to show compassion and forgiveness is your error, not mine and I actually understand your feelings as you are frustrated and have not come to a place of peace with this yet so you lash out at me….someone who HAS come to peace with all of this. If any would have tried, they would have found a place to grow here, a place to learn about the human condition and to learn about themselves and EXACTLY what they are capable of. When I first heard about this case, I cried for 6 months, I was tortured over it and had every bit as much hate in my heart as any one of you toward these two human beings. But in that messy place, I found out what I was made of and that yes…I did have the capacity to forgive, if only for my own good as it was taking me apart. And in that, I found that we are all a part of the human condition and we need each other very much. Not judgement from each other but understanding and forgiveness and love…not for the actions but for the human being themselves. If you can’t understand this, I am sorry, maybe one day God will grace you with his loving understanding and Peace. It’s easy to hate this…it is much more difficult to say, in spite of what you’ve done, and I don’t condone what you’ve done. I forgive you and I want to understand you human to human. I never condone violent acts but I never turn a human heart away that is in need of guidance, love and understanding. The act is NOT the person. Do any one of you have the capacity to forgive? Do you have the love of God in your heart to know that you are in no position to JUDGE anything or anyone? That is Gods job and Gods alone. I would not be so arrogant as to think that I know better then God. Jesus told me to forgive my enemies, to love them. Because I do as Jesus asks, I am persecuted and I am happy to be persecuted to be a witness to HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS! So, with that being said, I thank you all for persecuting me because without it, I have done nothing righteous. So, again….thank you, I will happily stand with my Lord and be persecuted. May peace be upon you all.

      • Kathy

        And yes Trish, I am that VERY Kathryn you speak of. You would be incorrect that I have visited with her, not because I won’t but because they would not allow her any visitors save her parents. I have, however, spoken over the phone with her and it is no secret that I have written to her for over three years. I WILL be visiting her soon though, now that I can. Please though, don’t provoke me with your harsh judgement as I know way too much about everyone involved and I WILL put the truth forth if I am pushed to do so. Since you care so much about his parents, whom you know NOTHING about, you might just want to stop passing judgement upon me. Go ask them if they would like for you to provoke me any further and my guess would be that they DO NOT. Everyone has skeletons in their closets Trish and things they would rather keep private for fear others will find out who they really are. So, if you don’t want to know EVERYTHING…and I guarantee you that there are a couple of people out there who DO NOT want anyone to know EVERYTHING, you should probably keep your nasty, incorrect comments and opinions to yourself! I am a seeker of truth…and I have found many truths..or rather was GIVEN many truths. Go ahead and stand foolishly in your self righteous indignation of these two but be very careful what you say about me because NONE of you know me and your opinions of me are just that, opinions, every one has one, and they all stink. You want some FACTS? Naw, I didn’t think so….carry on but I suggest you tread lightly where I am concerned because I do not deserve your harsh treatment and at some point, I WILL put forth the truth if this continues. I have EVERY right to be human and stand by someone in need. I also have EVERY right to defend myself if under attack, especially from the likes of those who are blood thirsty..and your whole group IS JUST THAT. You know what “group” I refer to. The whole story will come out…all of it, not one detail left out….NOT ONE DETAIL…all of which I have electronic or written PROOF of…if I feel I have to defend my position. Just saying…live and let live. Don’t cast your incorrect judgement upon me and go look at yourself in the mirror and tell me what you honestly see. I actually don’t think you are capable of that but I suggest it anyway. I don’t care that you hate them, that’s YOUR burden to bear, what I WILL NOT tolerate is anyone bearing false witness against me. I am about truth. I don’t base my conclusions on EMOTIONS but rather FACTS. Do you also place judgement on Nathan’s mother for standing by Stephanie? And if not, why not her but yes to me? You probably also hate her attorney as well for doing her job and defending her…right? Let us hope you never need the Constitution to work for you if that is what you think. And I would go on to say….learn how the Law works, it’s not based on emotions or public outcry. It is based on the FACTS of the case. Troy did what he knew to be the best he could do and I’m POSITIVE he explained all of that, in detail to Ethans father. He himself said in court, if this went to trial, i am confident I could convict but then there would be an appeal process because HER attorney would NOT be doing her job as a defense attorney if she DIDN’T appeal the case. Even if they had found her guilty, they would have also had to unanimously vote to put her to death. There were so many variables that Troy KNEW a plea deal would be the best course of action because by her plea, she gives up the right to an Appeal. Had she gone to trial, she would still be afforded many rights under the Constitution. Why someone with ZERO law background would question the actions of the prosecuting attorney is far beyond my comprehension. Either live in your fantasy world where everything is based on public EMOTION or learn the law and how the Constitution works and quit deluding yourself. Just saying….the choice is yours.

      • Suzanne

        Yes Trish you are 100% correct – they both got away with murder! I have been haunted by this story. I can’t cope with the images of little Ethan being tortured day after day until his little body could no longer endure the beatings/abuse. How could anyone (Kathy) advocate for this so-called POS mother? What kind of mother puts her own wellbeing over that of her child? I don’t care if she was a battered woman, her job was to protect her child, period! Someone would have to kill me first before they would ever touch my child. I am mortified that they both got off with such a light sentence.

    • AnotherBob

      Nathan Sloop pled guilty in Februay of this year Bob. His quote was “I screwed up. I made those mistakes and because I made those mistakes Ethan Stacy is no longer with us”.

  • bob

    Kathy, she pled GUILTY of Aggravated Murder and Obstruction of Justice. She admitted to those charges. Signed the paper freely.

    Why would you even attempt to defend that worthless meat sack? She’s nothing but garbage, and is going where we keep garbage.

    Stop embarrassing yourself.

    • nahrin

      Kathey

      You should be reported to child abuse service, you support the abuse of a child ,, everything is wrong with you

      • Kathy

        LOL….I’m sorry, your logic is flawed and your stupidity makes me laugh. So, I guess I should say thank you for the chuckles.

    • Kathy

      I feel no embarrassment. If you are embarrassed for me, those are your feelings that you will have to deal with. If not, why bring it up? These feelings of “embarrassment” you are trying to displace onto me are coming from YOU…like it or not. I have no embarrassment OR shame. I know my heart which is more then I can say for most. Am I perfect, not by a long shot but I know I have a heart and that God wants me to love my fellow man, not just the ones who don’t make big mistakes. Paraphrasing: Jesus replied, when asked why he was “hanging with the Riff Raff” of the society of his day, what need does a healthy man have of a physician? So…why would a doctor surround himself/herself with HEALTHY people? I think you all have (MISSED THE MARK)…which by the way means….SIN…look it up. I will leave you to your ignorance and pray God will touch your heart in a very special way.

  • Cynthia Ramos

    This is an outrage that the mother and stepfather of Ethan Stacy were able to make a plea deal in the torture and murder of their innocent son. Both parents should have received the death penalty. What a tragedy and injustice for Ethan Stacy. He certainly deserved better than what the judicial system deemed just for his little life. God bless his soul and may he rest in peace.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      Plea deals save the time and money of taking a case to trial. Utah has neve executed a woman, nor has it ever had a woman on death row. Give your outrage a rest Cynthia.

      • Trish Ramirez

        There’s always a first time – what does this story stay to the mothers of Utah, the women who would torture and murder their babies? The precedent has been set and thoroughly established in this state that a woman can murder her child with virtual impunity. It is an invitation for more atrocities. Many MANY states had ‘never executed a woman’ until they DID. I am all about equality – both in life and under the law. She should have fried, and the majority of the people in the State would have applauded the use of time and funds to ensure justice served in this case – they would have turned out to watch her burn and roasted marshmallows on her smouldering corpse.

        (And before someone points out to me that these are no longer the burning times and if executed she would have been lethally injected – I am speaking figuratively.)

    • Kathy

      Unfortunately for you Cynthia, you don’t seem to understand how the Judicial System works. It’s not fueled by emotions or opinions. It doesn’t run on “what people FEEL”, it is based in provable facts. Troy did the best her could do. If he had gone to trial with this, she would have only needed ONE person to believe there was reasonable doubt, just ONE and she would have hung the Jury….and even if all 12 DID find her guilty they would have had to unanimously vote to put her to death. Troy won here…she cannot appeal her case. So, if he had gone to trial and convicted her, her attorney would have appealed the decision at a higher court and probably would have won that appeal when you look at how the law is written…if YOU’VE bothered to look at how the laws pertaining to this are written. You really shouldn’t shoot your mouth off about how the state failed Ethan when you obviously know NOTHING about the Constitution or how the law works. If you did know these things, you would be thanking Mr. Rawlings for a job well done. He did the best he could by Ethan given all the circumstances and facts in the case. He said himself, we’d have to argue who did what and PROVE it. The burden of proof is on the state and Stephanie was considered innocent until PROVEN guilty. She had NO burden to prove her innocence and would only have to show “reasonable doubt” in order to hang the Jury…AND…she would have gotten an appeal had they convicted her. Take whatever time you need to UNDERSTAND this.

  • Kathy

    People are often unreasonable and self-centered, forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people might accuse you of ulterior motives, be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you, be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous, be happy anyway. The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough, give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. it was never between you and them anyway. Mother Teresa~

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