The woman's husband, Nathan Sloop, 35, faced the same charges in the death of his stepson. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill in February to aggravated murder a potentially capital offense while the remaining charges related to the boy's death were dismissed. A judge immediately sentenced Nathan Sloop to 25 years to life in prison for the murder.
"That boy died on my watch and I'm horribly sorry," Nathan Sloop told 2nd District Judge Glen Dawson before he was sentenced.
At Stephanie Sloop's February hearing, her attorney, Mary Corporon told the judge that she believes evidence that could help prove the woman's innocence in the case has not been released to her because Nathan Sloop's attorneys have argued that they are protected documents. Releasing that evidence to Corporon would violate Nathan Sloop's constitutional rights, his defense attorneys have argued.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings has said he would like to give the information to Corporon, but competing constitutional claims by Nathan Sloop have prevented it.
"The competition here is between Mr. and Mrs. Sloop," Rawlings told Dawson during the February hearing.
Neither Rawlings nor Corporon has detailed what the potentially exculpatory evidence was.
Charging documents state the Layton couple engaged in multiple acts of "severe abuse" between April 29 and May 8 in 2010 that led to Ethan's death, including "beatings, burning, drugging, isolating, malnourishing, leaving the child alone and unattended while suffering, and refusing to seek vital life-sustaining medical attention."
The couple reported Ethan missing to police on Mother's Day, May 10, after discovering the boy was dead. But after a 12-hour search, police say the couple confessed to burying the boy in Weber County.