Ethan Stacy's Mother Seeks Annulment from Husband; Both Accused of Son's Murder

This undated image provided by the Layton (Utah) Police department shows Ethan Stacy. The body of a boy who matches the description of the missing 4-year-old child has been found in a Utah canyon and his mother and stepfather will face charges, police said, May 11, 2010.
AP Photo
Ethan Stacy (AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (CBS/AP) Stephanie Sloop, the mother charged in the murder of her 4-year-old son Ethan Stacy, is seeking an annulment from her husband Nathanael Sloop, who is also charged in the boy's death.

PICTURES: Ethan Stacy Dead; Mother, Stepfather Charged

Stephany Sloop married Nathanael on May 6, when, according to police documents, Ethan was locked in a room after having been beaten by Nathanael.

Stephanie, 27, claims in court papers filed in Farmington's 2nd District Court that the marriage "was not voluntary, and was the result or product of physical duress by" the 31-year-old Nathanael Sloop.

Nathanael Sloop could fight the petition, which does not detail how he may have coerced his bride.

Mary Corporon, Stephanie Sloop's defense attorney, declined to comment on the annulment petition.

According to probable cause statements previously released by police, Nathanael acknowledged hitting Ethan, which caused his face to swell. The couple then left him in a locked bedroom on May 6 while they went off to get married, because they were reportedly afraid the boy's condition would be noticed

The couple told police they found Ethan dead in his bed three days after the wedding, and that Nathanael Sloop buried Ethan's body later the same day.

On May 10, Stephanie Sloop reported the boy missing to police. A search was called off within hours after the story the Sloops had told police began to change during questioning.

The Sloops face charges of aggravated murder and other felonies related to the boy's death. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty.

The couple remains held without bail in the Davis County jail.

Stephanie Sloop's annulment petition also asks that her name be changed to a previous surname. No specific surname is indicated, but she formerly used the name Stephanie Stacy.

Ethan Stacy's father, Joe Stacy, of Richlands, Va., said Friday that he did not want his ex-wife using his surname.

Complete Coverage of Ethan Stacy's Murder on Crimesider.