We have a very brief update today on the case of Alex Hurley, the 12-year-old Montana boy who was allegedly beaten to death by his extended family.
Five people have been charged in Alex’s case: James Sasser III, Alex’s 14-year-old uncle, is charged with deliberate homicide and is being held at the Yellowstone Youth Services Center in Billings. Prosecutors have filed a request to charge him as an adult; that matter has not yet been determined. It is alleged that blows dealt to Alex by James III directly caused the boy’s February death in the family’s home in West Yellowstone, Montana.
Also charged is Alex’s grandmother, Patricia Batts, who stands to be sentenced to death by lethal injection if she is convicted of her felony charges of deliberate homicide, strangulation of a family member, child endangerment, and aggravated kidnapping. Her husband, James Sasser Jr, has also been charged with deliberate homicide and criminal child endangerment. Both Patricia and James have been held at the Gallatin County Detention Center since their arrest in February, Patricia on a bond of $750,000, James on a $50,000 bond. They are the parents of both James Sasser III and 18-year-old Madison Sasser.
Madison, Alex’s aunt, has been charged with negligent homicide and aggravated kidnapping in connection with Alex’s death.
The fifth person charged in the case is 18-year-old Gage Roush, a family friend, who has been charged with felony assault on a minor for one incident of abuse against Alex that was filmed by the family. As a matter of fact, much of Alex’s abuse was recorded on video, which should make the case pretty damn easy to prosecute.
All five defendants have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.
The quick update today centers around Alex’s grandparents, Patricia and James Jr., who attended an omnibus hearing on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 27 in front of Judge John Brown. At the request of Patricia’s attorneys, Ryan Peabody and Mariah Eastman, and James’s attorney, Brian Carl Smith, Judge Brown allowed the timeline of the deviant duo’s court hearings to be pushed back. According to ABC Fox Montana, “this is considered to be standard procedure for a high-profile case like this one.”
Attorney Brian Smith told a reporter that the COVID-19 pandemic is not affecting the timeline of the case and that he has been able to meet in person with James Sasser Jr. in the jail facility.
Click here for my ongoing coverage of Alex’s case.