History of abuse emerges in Ethan Stacy case

Former spouses call Sloops unstable, feared for children

Published: Friday, May 14 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

Jose and Angel Arellano read cards at a memorial set up for Ethan Stacy at Layton Meadows apartments. The boy's mother and stepfather are under investigation in the death.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

LAYTON — Divorce documents and protective orders from the newlywed Layton couple accused in the death of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy show a disturbing history of abuse and fear.

Both of the former spouses of Nathan and Stephanie Sloop were also fearful for the safety of their children because of the unstable behavior of their exes.

The biological father of Ethan Stacy described his ex-wife, Stephanie Sloop, as "unstable" and said he feared she would take their son and he'd never see him again.

The former wife of Nathan Sloop described him as mentally unstable, violent and having multiple personalities — including one personality who becomes extremely angry when criticized. She said she feared for her life and for her daughter's life.

The documents include transcripts of profanity-laced tirades that Nathan Sloop — who prosecutors plan to charge today with the murder of his stepson — left in a series of voice mail messages for his former wife, Jennifer Freeman, one day in September.

"I only wish now that I could (expletive) take you out of (their daughter's) life. I am going to do every (expletive) thing possible within my power to take you the (expletive) out of her life (expletive). I don't give a (expletive) if I gotta spend the rest of my (expletive) life in prison. (Expletive) you. I'm coming after your (expletive) throat," he said in one voice mail message.

In another, Nathan Sloop threatened to kill Freeman's boyfriend, "Mike," and then added, "You'll be next in line," according to the transcripts.

Nathan Sloop left five voice mail messages in less than 20 minutes and six within 90 minutes, according to the court documents.

"He hugs my (expletive) daughter, he comes near my (expletive) daughter, he is (expletive) done. Over," one message said.

Nathan Sloop and Freeman had one daughter together. She turns 6 later this month. The daughter, who was born in Utah when the couple lived in Roy, now lives in Florida, where Freeman moved after her divorce.

In November, Freeman asked the court to ban Nathan Sloop from having any electronic contact with her.

"I am deathly afraid (Nathan Sloop) will harm me or my family," Freeman wrote in court documents.

As recently as March, Freeman sought to have a permanent restraining order against him. The couple's divorce was finalized in August 2008.

"The wife has been the victim of domestic violence," her attorneys wrote in court documents. "The husband has a felony criminal history for drug-related criminal activity and has for years been diagnosed and treated for multiple personality disorders."

In court documents, Freeman describes Nathan Sloop as having a "history of instability and mental illness," including being diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. His other personalities go by the names "Ghost" and "New York," she wrote. "Ghost," she wrote, "becomes enraged at any perceived slight or criticism."

Freeman feared Sloop would hurt their daughter as a way to get back at her.

Similarly, Joe Stacy feared his ex-wife Stephanie Sloop would use their son Ethan to get back at him.

Joe Stacy filed for divorce from Stephanie Stacy, as she was then known, in October, according to records from the Florida court. Both were required to undergo parenting classes, which is required under Florida law for divorcing parents with minor children. The Uniform Child Custody Act was also invoked, which deals with children of divorced parents who live in different states.

In November, Joe Stacy filed an emergency motion for custody.

"The mother is unstable, and I'm afraid she will come to Florida and take him," he wrote in his motion.

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