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4th person charged in death of West Yellowstone boy

James-Hurley
Gallatin County Sheriff
James Alex Hurley

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mt. (KIFI/KIDK) -UPDATE:

(AP)- Montana authorities have arrested a fourth person accused of being involved in the fatal beating of a 12-year-old boy at his home in West Yellowstone.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that 18-year-old Gage Roush has been arrested and charged with felony assault of a minor and appeared in court in the Feb. 3 death of James Alex Hurley.

After Hurley's death, investigators found video evidence they say indicates Roush and family members regularly abused him. Charging documents say Roush allegedly told detectives that he was the person in the video hitting Hurley.

Prosecutors say the autopsy found he had bruising all over his body and died from trauma to the head.


UPDATE:
Sheriff Brian Gootkin said the 12-year-old murder victim had lived in the West Yellowstone home for about two years.

James' father passed away, but formerly lived in West Yellowstone for a time.

The boy was sent to live in West Yellowstone with his grandfather, James Sasser Jr., grandmother Patricia Batts, and a 14-year-old uncle. The 14-year-old suspect is being held in a juvenile facility pending further court action.

Also in the house were an 18-year-old aunt and another 6-year-old uncle. They have not been charged.

A preliminary autopsy report indicates the boy died of blunt force trauma to the back of his head.

The Sheriff stated the West Yellowstone school system has arranged for counselors to help elementary school students adjust to the news.

The boy's mother resides in Texas and is now on her way to Montana.

ORIGINAL STORY:
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office has arrested three people on charges of deliberate homicide in connection with the death of 12-year-old James Alex Hurley outside West Yellowstone, Montana on or about February 3.

Sheriff Brian M. Gootkin said the three, identified as James Sasser Jr., 47, Patricia Batts, 48, and a juvenile male who was the victim's uncle, were scheduled to make their initial Justice Court appearances Thursday morning.

The boy was sent to live in West Yellowstone with his grandfather, James Sasser Jr., grandmother Patricia Batts, and a 14-year-old uncle. The 14-year-old suspect is being held in a juvenile facility pending further court action.

Batts was initially held on a $750,000 bond and Sasser on $500,000 bond in the Gallatin County Jail in Bozeman pending their initial court appearance.

Additional information concerning the case was not immediately available.

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. “Additional information concerning the case was not immediately available.”
    Shouldn’t that be ‘Significant information concerning the case was not immediately available.”
    Come on, LN8 ‘News Team’! This is only marginally above simply ‘reporting’ RUMORS!

  2. This is a lot more involved than in this pitiful article.
    Here’s a link (and if the link disappears just search “boy killed West yellowstone” and read the billings gazette articles.
    His grandparents and uncle along with others tortured and beat this kid to death. Got that, TORTURED AND BEAT A KID TO DEATH!
    WTF is wrong with people. And if found guilty they deserve the exact same death and as soon as possible. No waiting for drugs, just pull out the baseball bats and go at it.

    https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/crime-and-courts/grandparents-teen-uncle-tortured-killed–year-old-court-docs/article_2729b7d8-177c-5780-928e-74ef90cce368.html

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