A Utah mother has been sentenced to at least 20 years behind bars in connection with the death of her 4-year-old son, who was starved, scalded, beaten with a hammer and then buried in the mountains.
Stephanie Sloop, 31, was given 20 years to life in jail for the 2010 death of Ethan Stacy, the Daily Mail reports.
Sloop pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and one count of obstruction of justice under a deal with prosecutors in Farmington, Utah.
Sloop sobbed in court as she admitted she was completely responsible for her son’s death after days of torture by her husband and Ethan’s stepfather, Nathan Sloop, “because I was his mommy.”
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Last year, a medical examiner testified that the boy died from a combination of excessive over-the-counter medications, severe burns and pneumonia.
Aspiration pneumonia is caused by inhaling foreign materials such as vomit into the lungs. Prosecutors alleged that Ethan was forced to eat feces.
Nathan Sloop, 35, confessed to using a hammer to disfigure the boy before putting his body in garbage bags and burying him in a shallow grave near Powder Mountain.
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Stephanie Sloop’s lawyer told the court that his client suffered from “battered wife syndrome” and was addicted to prescription medications while her son was abused, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
Nathan was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in February for the murder of his stepson after pleading guilty to aggravated murder, but mentally ill.
Ethan’s biological father, Joe Stacy, was at the courtroom for his ex-wife’s sentencing Monday. Stacy supported the guilty pleas, but told the Tribune that he has been “devastated” and “broken up” about his son’s death.
Watch the Tribune’s report below: