His attorney says that over a 9-month time period prior to Ethan’s death, Nathan and his wife had access to prescription drugs.
“Percocet, Zanex were among those drugs,” says his attorney Richard Mauro.
Late Tuesday, Sloop admitted to killing the four year old in 2010. He had been abused and buried in the mountains.
“He was bathed in hot water, refused to be taken to the hospital,” says Davis County District Attorney prior to sentencing.
Ethan’s biological mother, Stephanie is facing similar charges of aggravated murder and awaiting trial.
“Guilty your honor,” Nathan Sloop told the judge prior to sentencing.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated murder with mental illness and aggravated assault on a sheriff deputy while in jail.
The plea spares Sloop of a possible death penalty had he gone to trial and found guilty.
“It was the best we could do,” says David Cole, a deputy county attorney.
Rawlings says there were “risks” had they gone to trial. He says Sloop had a history of mental illness. Both sides agreed that Sloop was mentally ill at the time of Ethan’s death.
He was sentenced to 25-years to life for killing Ethan and 15-years to life for assaulting the deputy. Both sentences will be served concurrently.
“This was the best possible outcome,” says Cole. “This will put Sloop in prison for the rest of his natural life. He will die in prison.”
Joe Stacy, Ethan’s biological father was in court but did not offer any comment in court prior to sentencing.
“It’s too difficult and emotional for him,” Rawlings told the judge.
Prior to sentencing Sloop offered an apology.
“That boy died on my watch and I’m sorry,” Sloop told the judge.
But that apology didn’t go well with those watching the sentencing. Terry Keefe is Layton’s police chief. He told reporters outside the courtroom the case had a deep impact on his department.
“This was a horrendous case,” says Keefe. “There are things in law enforcement that you don’t forget. Unfortunately this is one of those.”
Reacting to Sloop's apology, Keefe wasn't in a forgiving mood.
“I’m not so sure it was sincere. I think it was just self serving. That’s a personal opinion,” said Keefe.