A Utah man accused of killing his 4-year-old stepson has pleaded not guilty.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Nathanael Sloop is being ordered to stand trial March 17.
Prosecutors say the 34-year-old Sloop and his wife malnourished and abused the boy for days before his death in 2010.
Sloop is accused of using a hammer to disfigure Ethan Stacy's face and burying his body in the northern Utah mountains.
Sloop pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to aggravated murder, child abuse, obstruction of justice and abuse or desecration of a human body.
Defense lawyers are fighting an effort by prosecutors to qualify Sloop for the death penalty.
Prosecutors are trying to invoke Shelby's Law, which means they don't have to prove that Sloop killed the boy intentionally. The defense says the 2007 law is unconstitutional.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com