Case Update: Madison Sasser Tries to Milk COVID-19 to Lower Her Bail

James Alexander Hurley
James Alexander “Alex” Hurley.
(Blue Bonnet News)

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin is having absolutely none of this, which fills me with joy. After last night’s post, you already know how I feel about accused murderers being released on pathetically low bail!

On Friday, April 3, Gallatin County Judge Rick West presided over a video appearance by 18-year-old Madison Sasser, the recently arrested aunt of 12-year-old Alex Hurley. Madison is charged with felony negligent homicide in Alex’s February death, accused of doing absolutely nothing to prevent Alex from being tortured and murdered by her family.

In court on Friday, Madison’t attorney, Elisabeth Montoya, appeared by phone to request Madison’s bail be lowered from $150,000 to $5,000 so the little shit could return to her sister’s place in Texas and finish high school online. She also tried to float the excuse that Madison is showing possible symptoms of COVID-19.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin
Sheriff Brian Gootkin.
(NBC Montana)

“I am concerned about the virus,” Montoya said. “I’m concerned because she was in Texas. She’s been incarcerated since March 19 in Texas. And a female jailer, this morning, did tell me that Madison spiked a fever this morning while she was in jail.”

Bullshit, says Sheriff Gootkin. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.) “Her health is fine. We’ve done screenings on every single inmate. So we’re doing the same thing the health department tells us to do.” 

In the detention center, most cells only have one inmate, and jail staff is asking inmates to practice social distancing in common areas. The Sheriff added that they also have six nurses on staff.

“People are scared,” Sheriff Gootkin said, “and we don’t need to be making people scared with false information. It’s unfortunate that people have to try to take advantage of this situation for their own needs and their own politics.”

Amen, Sheriff.

The Honorable Rick West denied the pathetic attempt to lower Madison’s bail, and I am absolutely not gloating over this fact whatsoever, you guys. (Well… maybe a tiny bit.) Alex will never have the opportunity to gallivant all over the country, visit relatives, or finish high school, online or otherwise; neither should the so-called family members accused of taking those opportunities away from him. 

On another note, I will be covering Alex’s story on episode 7 of the Suffer the Little Children podcast, which will be released on Tuesday, April 7. Please support the show by liking, subscribing, rating, and reviewing on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Click here for my ongoing coverage of Alex’s case.

Sources: NBC Montana

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